MAYVILLE – The health department is getting ready to vaccinate kids in Chautauqua County against COVID-19.
This week the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11 in a two-dose series.
The group has scheduled several mass vaccination clinics in the coming weeks, with the first shots set to roll out next Tuesday.
Chautauqua County Health Director Christine Schuyler says this is another big step towards bringing an end to the pandemic.
“You are going to be able to personally have your child vaccinated in our county, and throughout the nation,” says Schuyler. “We are in the process now of setting up our clinics, in trying to get as many children vaccinated as quickly as possible we are anticipating quite a demand from parents.”
While not everyone is ready to have their child roll up their sleeve, the health leader is reassuring parents the vaccine is safe. In fact, she says while she can not go into specifics due to privacy reasons, children have become very ill from catching COVID in our county.
“The COVID-19 vaccine for children has been extensively studied, and is now approved under emergency use authorization,” Schuyler explains. “The Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age. The dosage for that vaccine is much lower than the dosage for adults. It’s only about one-third of the dosage, and it’s a two dose series.”
According to Schuyler, there is a lot of misinformation regarding the shot. She says the easiest way to explain to parents, is to provide examples of other successful vaccines.
“But fortunately for us and for our children today they can get a chickenpox vaccine that prevents any of that from ever happening,” says Schuyler. “So vaccines are good, they are thoroughly tested, they are safe, they’re effective, and they do what they are supposed to do, and that is preventing severe illness and disability.”
Over the past few months several hundred people, including some doctors and nurses, have spoke out in protest to the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. This prompted the county to pass a measure that recommended alternatives to the mandate, but not necessarily the vaccine itself.
Nevertheless, the health director doubles down saying that the only way we will truly bring an end to the pandemic, is by getting vaccinated.