Diego Alonso, 13, receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse KJ Dionisio at the Southern Nevada Health District on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (Wade Vandervort / Las Vegas Sun, pool photo)
More than 13,000 Nevada children have been inoculated against COVID-19 in the first week since those aged 5 to 11 became eligible for a shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to state data.
The number represents a fraction of the 277,000 kids in the age range in the state, but it shows the eagerness of some parents to get their young children the first of two needed shots after federal regulators authorized the vaccine for the age group earlier this month.
Local health departments, pharmacies and doctor’s offices started receiving vaccines for elementary school-aged children last Wednesday. Children in this age group receive about a third of the size of an adult dose, spaced three weeks apart.
Nevada health officials have sought to inform parents that trials showed the vaccine was safe and highly effective in children with few side effects. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring for side effects, including myocarditis, as more of the nation’s 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 are vaccinated.
About 277,000 Nevada children are between the ages of 5 to 11 and, the largest share are in Clark County, home to 200,000 newly eligible children, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.
In Clark County, more than 7,000 cases of COVID have been reported in children ages of 5 to 11, and more than 150 have been hospitalized due to COVID.
In total, more than 37,000 cases of COVID-19 in Clark County have been reported in children ages 5 to 17. There have been a total of 266 children hospitalized in Clark County due to COVID, resulting in the death of 4 children. One of the children who died as a result of COVID was between the ages of 5-11, according to the SNHD.
Pneumonia is a risk in children after COVID-19 infections, but a bigger threat for children is multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.
Nevada health experts recommend vaccinating children as soon as possible so they and their families can benefit from full protection in time for the holiday season.
According to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Information on availability will be posted on the SNHD website at www.SNHD.info/covid-vaccine.
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