HealthWatch: Local experts weigh in – COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 – 11

Health Watch

Now that the CDC has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 – 11, Local 5 spoke with two local experts about what  this latest development could mean for kids and schools in Northeast Wisconsin.

“The more people we can get vaccinated the better to decrease the spread of this illness to decrease the number of variants that’ll come out,” said Dr. Donald Beno, a pediatrician with Aurora BayCare Medical Center.  “Most of all, to keep those children in school so they can keep learning and keep interacting with their friends and have a normal life once again.”

Beno says Pfizer has already started shipping the kid-sized vaccines to pediatricians offices across Wisconsin.

“The dosage itself is a smaller dose,” said Beno.

Beno says the vaccine for younger children is about a third of the amount given to adults and tailored specifically for  kids.

“The size of the needle is smaller because the children are smaller,” Beno explained.

Studies show the vaccine is more than 90% effective against COVID-19, but that’s not the only virus going around this time of year.  As` we head into cold and flu season, 

Aurora BayCare Pulmonologist, Dr. Raul Mendoza recommends getting your flu shot at the same time as the COVID vaccine or booster.

“You can get both of them,” Mendoza said.

In fact, Mendoza says that’s the best way to minimize any potential side effects.

“Get it over with, get two shots at the same time, ,” Mendoza recommended. “For 24 – 48 hours take your Tylenol, then that’s it.”

As far as getting a booster shot, Mendoza says anyone over the age of 65 or who has an underlying health condition is eligible for a booster vaccine within six months of your last Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months if you received the Johnson &  Johnson shot.

Whether it may be the flu or COVID-19, Mendoza says it’s important to get your symptoms checked by a doctor if you start feeling under the weather.

“If you have fever and respiratory symptoms, you need to be seen,” Mendoza advised. “Early interventions can save your life.” 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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