Gundersen Health System will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 5- to 11-year-olds starting Wednesday, Nov. 10.
Vaccine clinics at open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday at Gundersen Onalaska Clinic (Level 4) and Gundersen La Crosse Clinic (Level 1 near the healing garden).
Parents or guardians must accompany the child to a walk-in appointment, schedule one using MyChart or by calling (608) 775-6829. Patients and non-patients are welcome at Gundersen for the vaccination.
What else do I need to know about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and kids?
CDC and FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine comes after a thorough review of clinical trial data and will include intense safety monitoring as kids receive the vaccine.
While not everyone experiences the same side effects, the most common side effects among kids during Pfizer’s clinical trials were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain, especially after the second dose.
Like adults, the Pfizer vaccine should not be given to kids with a history of severe allergic reactions to vaccine components. A very small number of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported among the approximately 250 million Pfizer vaccine doses provided in the United States.
Why should kids get the COVID-19 vaccine?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics as of the end of October, about 6.3 million kids have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. This includes about 118,00 new COVID-19 cases nationwide per week among kids in recent months. While the virus is usually milder in kids than in adults, kids can still get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health.
Kids can also transmit COVID-19 to others, even when they are not showing symptoms. COVID-19 vaccine protects kids and those around them (parents, siblings, grandparents, friends), especially those at greater risk of severe illness.
Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine also reduces the number of infections in the community and gives the virus less opportunity to mutate and contribute to variants in our community, some of which are more dangerous and can be resistant to the vaccine.
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