Health officials urge parents not to delay getting their kids ages 5 to 11 vaccinated against COVID |

Health officials urge parents not to delay getting their kids ages 5 to 11 vaccinated against COVID

Some parents are wanting to delay their children’s shots until the winter break, health director says

Pamela Manson
For The Park Record
The Summit County Health Department.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

About 1,500 children ages 5 to 11 in Summit County have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and health officials expect that another 1,500 kids in that age range will get the inoculation.

The youngsters became eligible for the two-shot vaccine earlier this month. Child-size doses of the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer are one-third of the adult dose and the shots are given 21 days apart.

Children are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot.

Summit County Health Director Phil Bondurant said a lot of parents are not hesitant about getting their children vaccinated but they’re waiting until school is on Christmas break to do it. They want their kids to be out of school in case they have post-shot symptoms of muscle aches, headaches and tiredness, he said.

However, Bondurant is encouraging parents to have their kids receive their first shot as soon as possible.

“If they get it this week or next week, whether it’s at the Health Department or it’s at a pharmacy or at their kid’s pediatrician, they’ll receive their second dose before the Dec. 25 holiday, meaning that by the time they go back to school in January, they will be fully vaccinated,” Bondurant said.

Getting children vaccinated is a big step in slowing the spread of COVID, he said.

“Just as it was with adults, this is an important part of the overall pandemic response,” Bondurant said. “We hope that parents will check in with their primary care physicians and learn from them whether or not the vaccine is right for their family.”

As of Monday, the current COVID-19 transmission level in Summit County was listed as high on the Health Department’s dashboard.

Approximately 81% of county residents who are eligible to get the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and that percentage is expected to rise as more children get their shots.

There have been 7,377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 19 deaths from the virus in Summit County since the start of the pandemic.

In Utah, nearly 60% of people eligible to get the vaccine are fully vaccinated. The state has recorded 586,758 COVID cases and 3,442 deaths.

In his #OneUtah newsletter, Gov. Spencer Cox said he was encouraged so many parents had gotten their children vaccinated with a first dose since the 5- to 11-year-olds became eligible for the shots.

“Around 44,110 kids in that age group (12.1% of eligible) have already received their first dose,” Cox wrote on Friday. “And we also continue to do well with 12-18 year olds! 227,914 kids in this age range (61.2% of eligible) have received a first dose.”

The Summit County Health Department has issued these updates on its website about vaccines:

• COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 can be scheduled at Clinics will be held throughout next week beginning Tuesday, Nov. 30.

• All Health Department offices and testing sites are closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26.

• Booster doses are available for anyone age 18 or older who got a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

• Booster appointments at all three Health Department clinics are currently full until the week of Dec. 6. The Summit County Health Department does not accept walk-in appointments for any COVID-19 vaccines.

In addition to the Health Department sites, eligible residents can seek booster doses at several local pharmacies and through other medical providers.

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