DHEC: COVID-19 vaccines being distributed for children 5-11 after recent approval

South Carolina News

See where you can find a COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11 near you

FILE – This October 2021, photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in Puurs, Belgium. (Pfizer via AP, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina’s lead health agency announced Wednesday their support for COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11.

They are prepared to work with vaccine providers to ensure access for eligible juveniles across the state.

Director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Dr. Edward Simmer, said approval for use of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11 is a “major step forward” for the state.

“We want people to know that a great deal of research and analysis went into the approval of the vaccine for this age group. This research has shown that the vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 –11,” he said.

Dr. Simmer said the FDA and the CDC would not have signed off on using the vaccine with children without extensive research. “We are encouraged by this news and are excited to offer this vaccine to the 436,352 South Carolinian children in this age group,” he said.

DHEC began developing its vaccine rollout plan for South Carolinians 5-11 last month, and the federal government informed the state it would receive 152,100 pediatric vaccine doses in the first week of availability.

“We have already received more than 60,000 of these doses and expect to receive the rest of them on Wednesday and Friday,” DHEC said. “The state will continue to receive weekly shipments beginning next week.”

The federal government. According to DHEC, has enough doses for all 28 million children in this age group, so a phased rollout will not be necessary like it was for adult vaccines last winter.

Pediatric vaccinations are being distributed this week to more than 250 vaccine providers in South Carolina including many pediatricians and family practice providers. 

They are also being distributed to many, but not all, hospital systems that can further distribute them within their networks.

The health agency says it is best to contact your provider for availability prior to visiting a site.

You can find a vaccination location near you by clicking here or by calling DHEC’s vaccine information line at 1-866-365-8110.

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