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Mayo Clinic is preparing to vaccinate children 5‒11 for COVID-19, with vaccinations to begin Friday, Nov. 5. Mayo Clinic strongly recommends that children 5‒11 be vaccinated for COVID-19 and to schedule their appointment now.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now granted emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11. Nationally, nearly 28 million children are now eligible to be protected by a COVID-19 vaccination.
In clinical trials, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was at least 91% effective in children 5‒11. The COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is one-third of the adolescent/adult dose but it is administered the same way: in a two-dose series, three weeks apart.
Mayo Clinic joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in strongly recommending that children 5‒11 be vaccinated against COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 vaccinations across Mayo Clinic will begin Friday, Nov. 5 for children ages 5-11.
At this time, there are no COVID-19 vaccination events planned for kids at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Mayo Clinic in Florida. Parents are encouraged to check with their pediatrician's office or conveniently located community vaccination sites.
Eligible patients in this age range for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System have been identified and will be contacted through Patient Online Services, or by mail, and be invited to schedule an appointment.
Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to schedule appointments for children 5‒11. They can schedule their children’s appointments to be vaccinated against COVID-19 using their children's Patient Online Services caregiver account or the Mayo Clinic App. If they don't have a caregiver account for their child, they should call Mayo Clinic Customer Assistance at 877-858-0398.
Parents and legal guardians also can call the Mayo Clinic location nearest to them to schedule their children's COVID-19 vaccination appointment:
Children must be accompanied by the parent or legal guardian when they come for their vaccination appointment. Parents and legal guardians should tell their health care providers about any allergies children may have before being vaccinated.
Parents and legal guardians should not schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments if their children are in isolation due to a COVID-19 infection or in quarantine from a recent COVID-19 exposure. The children should undergo vaccination when they are no longer in isolation or quarantine. Vaccination should be delayed by 90 days for their children who received monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma or were given the diagnosis of COVID-19 — associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
"We know that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and safe for preventing potential future complications that we are seeing in some kids who have gotten infected," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, pediatric infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic’s Children Center. "For example, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, which is a rare but potentially life-threatening phenomenon, seems to happen in young people who get COVID-19 infection. Currently, there's no way to prevent that complication, except to prevent the initial COVID-19 infection itself."
Preparing children for vaccination appointments
Parents and legal guardians can prepare for their children's vaccination by reviewing tips for what to do before, during and after vaccination on the CDC website. They should talk to their children before the visit about what to expect and comfort their children during the appointment.
They should also prepare the children for possible side effects, which are normal signs that their body is responding to the vaccine. Common side effects include pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, as well as fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea. Mayo Clinic advises against providing pain relievers to children before they are vaccinated, as these may blunt the children’s response to the vaccine. If side effects develop, then pain relievers would be appropriate.
Children should eat a good meal or snack, and drink plenty of water before being vaccinated for COVID-19. Review additional information about COVID-19 vaccines on mayoclinic.org.
Parents and legal guardians are reminded that if their children are 11 when they receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine but will turn 12 when they receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine recommended three weeks later, the children will receive the age-appropriate vaccine formulation regardless of their size or weight — the 12-year-old would receive the adult dosage.
What about COVID-19 vaccinations for others?
Mayo Clinic continues to recommend and offer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children 12‒15 under FDA emergency use authorization and to older children and adults under the full FDA approval. For adults 18 and older, Mayo Clinic also recommends the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as an alternative to Pfizer.
Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.
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