Children ages 5 to 11 eligible for vaccine

Oregon children from the ages of 5 to 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine after the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup unanimously agreed with the CDC that pediatric doses are safe and effective. 

The workgroup is comprised of scientists across four states and said in a statement on Nov. 3 that “similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years.”

“Expanding COVID-19 vaccination in this age group will protect children 5-11 years of age who are vaccinated and allow them to more safely engage in educational and other activities important to their health and development; give parents a means of further protecting their children; and contribute to control of the COVID-19 pandemic in our states,” the statement added.

The pediatric dosage is one-third of the adolescent and adult dose but still consists of two shots spaced at least three weeks apart. Children ages 5 to 11 will be able to receive the vaccine at pediatrician’s offices and multiple pharmacies in Keizer and Salem. 

Pharmacies in Keizer still appear to be working on getting the pediatric doses as Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway and CVS Pharmacy all list on their websites that appointments for children 5 to 11 are not yet available at the Keizer locations. One pharmacist at the Safeway in Keizer did say, however, that their location was administering shots for children 7 to 11 and walk-in appointments were available. 

One of the easiest ways to find where the vaccine is available is by using the Oregon Health Authority Vaccine Finder and selecting the “Pfizer age 5 to 11” filter.

Currently, there are available appointments for children at the Salem locations of Walgreens and Rite Aid. Additionally, there are many appointments available on the Salem Health website. 

Under Oregon law, minors age 15 and above may give consent to receive medical treatment, including vaccinations, when provided by a physician or other professionals operating under the license of these providers. Parental or guardian consent is required to vaccinate people under 14 years old. 

Parents are encouraged to check the vaccine provider’s requirements for consent and accompanying minors before going to the appointment.