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Tampa Bay area pediatricians are ready to administer Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 5-11

Pediatricians say they are stocked and ready to give kids as young as 5 years old the vaccine.

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Doctor offices in the Tampa Bay area explained they have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 years old. And, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the authorization to use them, they are ready to administer the vaccine to hundreds of kids.

Dr. Nancy Silva who runs Small World Pediatrics in Wesley Chapel said her office has a waitlist of children wanting the vaccine. With the CDC authorization, she says her office can now begin administering around 100 vaccines a week. 

Along with her office, pharmacies like Walgreens confirm they will be able to administer Pfizer's COVID vaccine to thousands of children ages 5 to 11.

Dr. Silva said there are things parents should be aware of before their child gets their vaccine.

Know it's safe

Dr. Silva stresses the vaccine is safe and effective for children. “It has been deemed 91 percent effective in the 5-11 age range," Dr. Silva said.

Know the risks of myocarditis 

Dr. Silva explained there are risk factors when it comes to myocarditis, especially in boys. Dr. Silva stressed, even if your child has a preexisting condition, doctors could still recommend the vaccine as the safer option. “If you have a preexisting condition then get COVID, you’re more likely to get myocarditis with that as well, so we still recommend it," Dr, Silva stated.

Know the side effects 

Dr. Silva explains it's common for kids to have pain where the vaccine was injected and some kids could experience a fever. “A lot of parents are concerned about what are the side effects. The most common side effects are pain at the injection site, swelling, some people get headaches, GI symptoms, loose stool, for example, fevers are possible as they are with any vaccine," Dr. Silva stated.

Know it's quick and painless

The needle used to give the vaccine to kids is smaller. The dose children will receive is also smaller. In Dr. Silva's experience, the shot has been painless for most kids. 

Know your child should be hydrated before and after the vaccine

“What I tell everyone to do, is to make sure you are fluid loading," Dr. Silva went on to explain that means making sure your child is drinking water or even juice before and after the vaccine to stay hydrated.

Know to keep physical activities to a minimum after 

Dr. Silva says it's best to make sure your child relaxes and takes it easy after the shot. Participating in strenuous sports could put your child at risk. "You’re going to be more likely to get dehydrated and put a strain on your heart and your body so we don’t recommend that," Dr. Silva added.

Know you can talk to your pediatrician 

Dr. Silva explained, if you are a parent with concerns, talk to your child's doctor to figure out the best plan of action based on their health history.