SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — In its first week, there has been steady demand for the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.
Sanford Health started giving shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 a week ago. In the seven days since, Sanford officials say more than 2,000 children have been vaccinated through the health system.
“The response has been just excellent,” said Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, chief physician of Sanford Health.
Cauwels said Sanford Health shipped some of its youth vaccine supply to western South Dakota because of increased demand.
“They needed more than they originally ordered, and we happened to have more than enough on hand,” says Cauwels.
Cauwels added that Sanford has more than 5,000 children who have signed up to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose in the next five business days.
Cauwels said it is important to know that children can transmit COVID-19. He also said that anyone who is fully vaccinated is less likely to contract and transmit COVID-19. He stressed that these two facts are important for families to consider when they get together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
“If your kids are vaccinated, they’re much less likely to transmit a virus between each other and much less likely to transmit a virus to grandpa or grandma or grandpa or anyone else if they’re vaccinated,” Cauwels said. “For us, it’s the best chance we have to fully recommend a safe holiday season by making sure the whole family is vaccinated when we can.”
The South Dakota Department of Health said the state received 30,000 initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine by ages 5-11. Parents are encouraged to contact health care providers about getting the vaccine for children.
KELOLAND News also reached out to Avera Health and Monument Health about the number of children ages 5-11 who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. This story will be updated with any comments.