SAN ANTONIO – Millions of children six months and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccines for young children are rolling out across the country after the Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control signed off on the safety and effectiveness of the shots.
“It’s an exciting time to protect the health of our child, the well-being of our family and the protection of the community,” said Dr. Mandie Tibball Svatek, a pediatric hospitalist with University Health and associate professor of pediatrics with UT Health.
This group of children are now eligible to receive either the Pzifer or Moderna vaccines. Svatek said the series of doses they receive is similar to other COVID vaccines.
“With the Moderna vaccine, you’re looking at a two-dose series. With the Pfizer, you’re looking at a three-dose series. They definitely show they are safe and efficacious,” said Svatek.
Svatek said the makeup of these vaccines is very similar to those given to older children and adults.
“The consistency of what they have that in the vaccines is pretty much the same as the adults, as in the children. It’s just the actual dosing amounts that are significantly less. And that’s because we want to build that immune response to be effective, but not overstimulate that immune response and then obviously have other potential adverse side effects,” said Svatek.
Svatek said studies and trials also showed there were no serious side effects.
“The main symptom they’re seeing in children is fever and that’s about as common as what we’ll see with the adult population and the older children, arm pain, fatigue, those are really the main symptoms,” said Svatek.
While the vaccines can not prevent a child from getting COVID, Svatek said it’s important for parents to talk to their pediatricians about the risks and benefits of their young child getting vaccinated.
“What we’re looking at is obviously decreasing the deaths and hospitalization rates for children,” said Svatek.
Where to get children’s vaccines in San Antonio
San Antonio Metro Health announced Tuesday it will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children, ages 6 months older. Appointments can be made at Metro Heath’s Immunizations Clinic and the vaccines will be available at pop-up clinics on Wednesday. Parents and guardians, who take their children to get vaccinated at a Metro Health clinic, are eligible to receive a $100 H-E-B gift card while supplies last.
The two pop-up clinics scheduled for Wednesday are listed below:
- Johnston Library at 6307 Sun Valley from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Univision “Unase al Reto” at Boggess Center at 12121 Loop 410 Access Road from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
University Health will hold a special free COVID-19 vaccine event for children ages 6 months up to 5 years of age Saturday, June 25, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Robert B. Green campus downtown at 903 W. Martin Street. University Health will offer only the Pfizer vaccine at this event.
Starting Wednesday, appointments can be made at WeCanDoItSA.com. An adult family member or guardian must accompany the child to provide written consent for the vaccination, and proof of age is required.