‘We are out of time to wait’: COVID-19 vaccine rollout for children 5 to 11 coming soon

SPOKANE, Wash. — It could be a matter of weeks before kids 5 to 11 years old can get their first rounds of a COVID-19 vaccine.

For parents, it’s a time to ask questions to doctors they trust.

The Biden administration already secured enough vaccines for the 28 million 5 to 11-year-olds in the country.

Healthcare providers in Spokane are making preparations for when the vaccine gets approved.

At MultiCare Rockwood Clinic, they’ve ordered several hundred vaccines.

“I trust CDC and I trust the FDA. So, if and when it is approved for 5 to 11, I will be recommending that my patients get vaccinated,” said pediatrician Dr. Sarah d’Hulst.

She’s heard from some parents who are nervous about getting their kids vaccinated – but believes there’s no need to hesitate.

“We are out of time to wait,” Dr. d’Hulst said. “We’ve had millions and millions and millions and millions of doses of this vaccine given, and it is effective. It’s effective at keeping people out of the hospital, and the healthcare system — the educational system, are strained.”

She’s also seen a strain on kids in other ways because of the pandemic as a whole.

“I’ve seen a lot of increase in mental health issues, increases in obesity, lots of consequences of our kids not in school. And, I cannot see a way out of this situation without the majority of the folks in school being vaccinated,” she said.

Once it is approved by the FDA and CDC, the Spokane Regional Health District will be ready with the rollout.

“We will be working very closely with our schools and our community-based partners to make sure immunization is getting into those and our school-based programs will do that too,” said health director, Dr. Frank Velazquez.

The FDA is holding a meeting next Tuesday, and the CDC will meet Nov. 2-3. Dr. d’Hulst is urging parents and anyone with questions about the vaccine to reach out to their healthcare providers.

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