By Sahar Chmais
Children ages five to 11 can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, but the Hays County Local Health Department is still waiting on its vaccine allotment.
The Live Oak Health Clinic will offer pediatric doses of the vaccine as soon as it receives its allotment, but no time frame has been given, according to Hays County. So far, the vaccine status says “pending,” said Kim Hilsenbeck, Hays County’s communications manager.
Children under the age of 12 receive a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine. It is administered in two doses, three weeks apart.
Adverse reactions reported in clinical trials for children five to 11 years old include: pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, injection site redness, injection site swelling, muscle pain, chills, fever, joint pain, lymphadenopathy, nausea, malaise, decreased appetite and rash.
Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported both in those receiving the vaccines and those who actually become sick with COVID-19. Among COVID vaccine recipients the cases have shown up particularly within seven days following the second dose, according to the FDA. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.
Research shows that COVID-19 also causes myocarditis and pericarditis among other heart issues.
These observed risks are higher in males under 40 years of age than among females and older males, according to the FDA. The highest risk is observed in males 12 through 17 years of age. Most patients with myocarditis and pericarditis who receive care respond well to medicine and rest and feel better quickly, according to the CDC
The virus has directly caused myocarditis in some children and adults, Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told NPR
Symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis include chest pain, shortness of breath and feelings of a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart, according to the CDC.
The CDC states that COVID vaccines are still recommended, as the known risks of COVID-19 and related complications outweigh the risks of having these rare adverse reactions to the vaccination, including the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.
Although the pediatric vaccines are still pending to Hays County’s direct providers, some private pharmacies around the county have already begun administering the vaccine.
Here are the pharmacies providing the pediatric dose as of Tuesday, Nov. 9:
- Walgreens, located at 1660 Main St. in Buda
- Austin Regional Clinic, located at 4100 Everett St. in Kyle
- HEB, located at 5401 FM 1626 in Kyle
- Walgreens, located at 27495 RR 12 in Dripping Springs
- Dripping Springs Pharmacy, located at 100 Commons Rd #1 in Dripping Springs
These locations are subject to change, with other pharmacies receiving doses or some pharmacies running out of doses. To find out where to get the pediatric vaccine, visit www.vaccines.gov