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Home > About Us > Media Article Library > Essentia child life specialists share tips for vaccinating 5-11-year-olds
Published on November 03, 2021
Many Essentia locations ready to begin vaccinating children immediately
Following unanimous approval from its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday evening officially authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11-year-olds. Children are now eligible to be immunized against the coronavirus, another important step in ending a pandemic that has lasted nearly two years.
At Essentia Health, we’ve been preparing in earnest to vaccinate this age group as quickly and conveniently as possible. Appointments are required for 5-11-year-olds and can be made with the child’s primary care provider or pediatrician. Patients can schedule through our MyChart patient portal. or by calling (833) 494-0836. Please note that appointment availability will vary by location as vaccine is allotted and distributed; check MyChart frequently for openings.
The vaccine has been proven safe and effective for children. It is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals ages 12 and older (30 micrograms).
Anyone under the age of 18 must bring this consent form, signed by a parent or guardian.
“Our children have had nearly two school years disrupted by COVID-19, not to mention some children being seriously ill — and even dying — from the virus,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, a pediatrician at Essentia. “With safe and effective vaccines now available for this age group, we are another step closer to ending the pandemic. We at Essentia Health encourage vaccinating your children to keep them healthy and safe so that they can continue in school and other activities.”
While we’re excited about this next step in slowing the spread of COVID-19, we also recognize that vaccinating youngsters presents challenges. Accordingly, Essentia Health child life specialists lend their expertise to help families make vaccination a comfortable experience. They offer the following tips:
“We always encourage parents to be honest and patient with your child when it comes to getting vaccines, and talk about going to the doctor more often,” said Michelle Finneman, a child life specialist at Essentia. “Children are smart; they feed off their caregiver’s energy. So if we can begin early on to talk positively, using honest language with our children about going to the doctor and discussing the importance of vaccines with them, as well as meeting their individual needs, it will make for a more positive experience now and for future clinic appointments or hospital stays.”
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