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Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Wednesday that children 5-11 years may soon be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus with the Pfizer vaccine.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week authorized Pfizer’s request to expand the emergency use authorization (EUA) to include children ages 5-11. On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially confirmed the vaccine is safe and recommended the vaccine to this age group. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart for full protection and is the first and only vaccine currently available for this age group.

Vaccinations for children ages 5-11 will begin as soon as the CDC releases the associated clinical guidance and vaccinators are able to review and complete the necessary training. The DHS stated the importance of parents and guardians being patient as Wisconsin vaccinators take the necessary steps to be properly informed and trained before beginning vaccination.

“Our nation’s leading medical experts have reviewed the available data and confirmed that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children 5 to 11 years of age,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said in a news release. “We will soon begin vaccinating more of Wisconsin’s children to protect them from the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 and reduce disruptions in and out of the classroom. We are urging parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated as soon as they can to protect them and those around them.”

Disease activity remains very high across Wisconsin. Children and youth under 18 continue to represent the highest number of new confirmed cases compared to other age groups. COVID-19, particularly the Delta variant, can have a serious impact on your child’s health. Infection with the Delta variant has resulted in nearly three times the number of children in the hospital in the U.S. since early summer. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,600 Wisconsinites under 20 years old have been hospitalized with COVID-19. Vaccination is a safe and critical tool in both combating further COVID-19 illness among children and stopping the spread in our communities.

Parents and guardians of children ages 5–11 can schedule a vaccination using a variety of options, including with their health care provider, at community-based vaccination clinics, local and tribal health departments, or pharmacies. To locate a provider administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, visit Parents and guardians can learn more by visiting the COVID-19: Resources for Parents and Guardians page or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Hotline toll-free at (844) 684-1064.

Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 by visiting the Racine County Eye’s Coronavirus Dashboard.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...