RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Wake County Public Health Department will begin giving Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 on Monday.
There are an estimated 102,000 children in that age range who live in Wake County and are now eligible for the vaccine.
The county has ordered thousands of doses and is taking appointments at the Wake County Human Services Center, the Wake County Public Health Center, and at the Wake County Northern, Southern, and Eastern Regional Centers.
The Gullette Family signed up three of their four children to get the pediatric vaccine this week. Their twins Addison and Kinsey are 6-years-old, and their oldest boy Charlie is 11.
“I’m really excited it’s available now and that they can have some protection just like I do,” said Alexandria Gullette, who made their appointments at Walgreens.
Her husband Charles Gullette added, “I know the vaccine works because my wife and I, we were vaccinated and all four of our kids had tested positive for COVID back in July and we never got it, even though we were in the house with them for two weeks.”
Parents like Krystal Palmateer prefer to wait. She explained, “I’m definitely not anti-vaccine, just more so that there needs to be more research on it.”
The CDC and FDA recently approved Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine for emergency use authorization (EUA).
The two-shot series is one-third of the adult dose and is 90.7% effective in children ages 5-11, according to Pfizer. But it does come with a very rare risk of developing a condition that causes inflammation of the heart called myocarditis.
Most children who do get COVID-19 usually have mild symptoms and are low-risk for becoming hospitalized. Out of the 1.9 million COVID-19 cases reported in children ages 5-11, the CDC said 94 have died from what it calls “COVID associated deaths.”
“I feel kids have been the least to get it; they’ve recovered better from it,” Palmateer said. “I’m not saying there haven’t been incidents where kids have been harmed from getting COVID, but I think the vaccine is too soon for children.”
The Gullette’s aren’t taking any chances and tell CBS17 getting their children vaccinated will ultimately allow their family to live with less fear.
“It’s true there’s not really a high death rate with kids,” said Charles Gullette. “But in order to snuff this out, we need to just go ahead and get people as vaccinated as possible.”
Parents can make an appointment to get their children vaccinated through the Wake County Public Health Department website.