Oklahoma City-County Health Department preparing for if Pfizer vaccine is recommended by CDC, FDA

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — An FDA panel has cleared the way for children ages 5-years-old to 11 to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The panel unanimously endorsed the use of Pfizer’s vaccine for that age group. But the CDC will now have to weigh in.

In the meantime, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department is preparing for when they get the green light to give kids the shot.

“You would expect that they’d fill up really quickly once all the recommendations go through,” said Molly Fleming, Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

And with any luck, kids could be fully vaccinated by Christmas.

An FDA advisory panel voted 17-0 to recommend the Pfizer vaccine be made available to kids ages 5-years-old to 11.

The drugmaker has said the vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in that age group.

On Tuesday, FDA advisors discussed the potential side effects of giving young children the shot.

But ultimately deciding the benefits outweighed the risks.

“We’ve seen kids go in and out of school so much, quarantine policy, masks those kinds of things. The kids are tired of it as well. More than 80,000 kids in Oklahoma County will be eligible,” Fleming said.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department does have a recommendation for parents.

“We have encouraged parents to call their pediatrician and see when their pediatrician is going to offer the COVID-19 vaccine,” Fleming said.

If your pediatrician is going to offer the shot, get those appointments booked.

“We encourage that because the pediatrician has that relationship with the patient, so it’s a trusted place to get the vaccine. Nobody wants to get vaccines. Nobody wants to get shots, especially kids. So, we want them to have a familiar place, a place they’ve been to to get those shots,” Fleming said.

OCCHD is planning to offer additional childhood vaccinations as well, including the flu shot.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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