Parents in Delaware Vaccinating Children Ages 5-11 Against COVID-19 – Community News
Covid-19

Parents in Delaware Vaccinating Children Ages 5-11 Against COVID-19

Five-year-old Vincent Gaudino wobbles in his chair, but does not speak. He wears a shark jaw mask and his eyes have a look of, if not terrifying, obvious concern.

The boy is about to be vaccinated against COVID-19. His grandmother, Marianne Rokan, tries to reassure him.

“It hurts, but it’s over so quickly,” she tells him.

Pharmacist Howard Simon makes sure the youngster is as relaxed as possible while cleaning his shoulder with an alcohol wipe.

Then he sticks the needle into the boy’s arm.

“Look at that!” shouts his grandmother. “It’s all done. It’s all done.”

Pharmacist Howard Simon prepares to give the vaccine to 5-year-old Vincent Gaudino. (Thanks to Cara Gaudino)

That scene this week at the Giant supermarket pharmacy in Middletown is being repeated at drugstores, doctor’s offices and health clinics across the state.

In the week since they became eligible, nearly 2,000 Delaware children ages 5 to 11 received their first injections of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Delaware officials are working to have as many of these 77,500 newly eligible children vaccinated as possible.

Overall, 83% of adults in Delaware have been vaccinated, although the rate for 18- to 34-year-olds is only 55.4%, according to federal and state public health data. For children aged 12 to 17, the rate is 57.3%.

dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, advocates injections for everyone.

Rattay pointed out that the dosage of the Pfizer vaccine for children under 12 has been reduced and that in clinical trials nationwide with more than 3,000 children ages 5-11, more than 90% were shown to be protective against developing symptomatic COVID-19.

No serious vaccine-related side effects such as myocarditis or serious allergic reactions were identified, she said, adding that the side effects were no worse than those seen in adults and included aching arms, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, chills and low-grade fever that lasted a day or two. persists.

“We’ve been waiting for the day when we could give our younger school-age children this highly effective layer of protection and allow them to have a more normal childhood,” said Dr. rattay.

“Parents will of course be concerned about rare side effects. What we know is that the benefits far outweigh the extremely rare chance of a bad reaction. If my kids were in this age group, I would absolutely vaccinate them right away.”