A third of parents, or 34%, say they will vaccinate their 5-to-11-year-old child “right away” once a vaccine is authorized for that age group, according to a September survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Getty Images)
Louisiana parents seeking to get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to get the shot starting this week.
After the Food and Drug Administration announced last week the vaccine has been given emergency use authorization for kids aged 6 months to 5 years, the Louisiana Department of Health announced Monday it will be made available this week.
“The benefits of getting young kids vaccinated against COVID-19 are profound for families and particularly profound for the most marginalized families out there,” state health officer Dr. Joe Kanter said in a media briefing Monday.
Approximately 20,000 doses of the vaccine were pre-ordered for Louisiana, Kanter said. Those doses will be delivered to pediatricians and other vaccine providers through the week.
Kanter said supply would not be a problem.
While children under age 5 are at increased risk of hospitalization for COVID-19, just 17% of kids aged 5 to 11 and 47% of kids aged 12 to 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. A majority of children hospitalized do not have any underlying medical conditions.
COVID is the fifth leading cause of death for kids age 1 to 8 and the fourth leading cause of death for those 10 to 19, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Two COVID vaccines will be available for young children. The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series authorized for those aged 6 months to 5 years. The Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose series for children 6 months to 4 years.
Parents are encouraged to seek the vaccine from their pediatrician first or call 855-453-0774 for assistance finding a provider.
The vaccine will be available at retail pharmacies for children aged 3 and older.
Kanter added that while the state health department recommends the COVID vaccine for everyone eligible, it will not be required for children to attend public school this year.
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