Wahzhazhe Health Center now vaccinating children ages 5-11 against COVID-19

The WZZHC administers the COVID-19 vaccine outside of the clinic in a tent to ensure safety from individuals who could be exposed to the virus. CODY HAMMER/Osage News

The Wahzhazhe Health Center is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 years old.

On Oct. 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5-11 years old. The Centers for Disease Control recommends the vaccine and the WZZHC announced on Nov. 8 they are now administering the vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old.

The WZZHC is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They are currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For all questions related to COVID-19, the COVID-19 vaccine, to schedule a test, or to schedule an appointment for the vaccine, call the WZZHC COVID-19 Hotline at (918) 287-0028. The WZZHC is located at 715 Grandview Ave. in Pawhuska.

According to the FDA, the administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5-11 years old is a two-dose primary series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

“In the U.S., COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age make up 39% of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age. According to the CDC, approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children 5 through 11 years of age resulted in hospitalization. As of Oct. 17, 691 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. in individuals less than 18 years of age, with 146 deaths in the 5 through 11 years age group,” according to the FDA.

The FDA provided key points for parents and caregivers:

-       Effectiveness: Immune responses of children 5 through 11 years of age were comparable to those of individuals 16 through 25 years of age. In addition, the vaccine was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11.

-       Safety: The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children aged 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.

-       The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet next week to discuss further clinical recommendations.

The CDC recommends children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old and other unvaccinated children 5 years or older and adults should continue to wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with.