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CDC advisers recommend vaccination for children ages 5-11

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:47 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - An influential advisory panel recommended child-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved a third-of-the-dose size for smaller children, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally recommends who receives vaccines.

In an effort to better prepare for vaccinations, StarMed Healthcare began pre-booking vaccination appointments for children in the younger age group.

Dr. Arin Priamzadian, the chief medical officer with StarMed, explained his position on child vaccination as a step toward reaching herd immunity, saying, “There’s no significant risk to kids. There’s a huge benefit to kids.”

“The biggest thing parents are always concerned about is myocarditis and pericarditis... that’s inflammation of the heart, heart tissues, muscle. What parents need to know is if that’s [what] they’re really concerned about, studies show that COVID causes 6,000 times higher risk rather than COVID vaccine.”

Dr. Arin Priamzadian, StarMed chief medical officer

While some parents are concerned, others almost have a fully-vaccinated home.

Lattoya Parker is a parent in Jacksonville with two older children and a younger-aged son.

“The 16-year-old, he goes to Northside High School. They had vaccinations. I made sure he was signed up. Saniya, she’s 14 years old. She’s a middle schooler and she got her shots done at Northside. StarMed was out there,” said Parker.

Piramzadian says it is especially important that children are vaccinated with over 900,000 children in the state falling into the 5-11 age range and over 30% of COVID-19 cases coming from children.

“With the holidays that are coming, kids are going to spread it at home. It’s going to be pretty bad, especially if you go into grandparents’ homes, giving it to people who are much more at risk. I would personally want my kids vaccinated before I see my mother, their grandmother.”

Dr. Arin Priamzadian, StarMed chief medical officer

When asked for her philosophy on vaccination, Parker said, “They’re kids. They need protection too. So I’m really excited that there’s something for the younger kids now.”

StarMed officials say the organization has already begun sending child-sized doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to its various facilities.

CarolinaEast Health System has also sent roughly 1,200 doses to pediatricians throughout Craven County.

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