Yesterday, the CDC recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children, ages 5 to 11. Both the FDA and the CDC agree that this COVID-19 vaccine can be safely administered to children to prevent severe illness and death.

The vaccine was shown to have a 90.9 percent efficacy rate in clinical trials among this age group.

While cases and hospitalizations have decreased, we continue to see a higher case rate among unvaccinated residents as compared to vaccinated residents. COVID-19 continues to circulate in Alameda County, and we are likely to see cases increase in winter. Getting vaccinated continues to be the best protection against the worst outcomes from COVID and we strongly urge parents and guardians to have their newly eligible children vaccinated as soon as possible.

Not only do COVID-19 vaccines protect children from the most harmful impacts of COVID-19, children who are fully vaccinated are also not required to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive case, reducing disruptions to their school days.

The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, which is one-third the dosage given to teens and adults and will arrive in different packaging, will be available through some providers immediately and will become available soon through others.

Like with adults, children ages 5-11 must get two shots at least three weeks apart to get the maximum protection from the vaccine.

Alameda County’s Community Clinics will be able to accommodate vaccination of 5-11-year-olds by mid-November, including weekend operational hours to ensure access for working families