Jun 27, 2022

PPHD recommends children, adolescents get COVID vaccine

Posted Jun 27, 2022 5:58 PM


As of June 18, 2022, it is recommended that children and adolescents aged 6 months and older get a COVID vaccine.

Medical and public health experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children and adolescents age 6 months and older get a COVID vaccine to help protect them from contracting and spreading the virus.

The vaccine is the best way to protect children from becoming severely ill or having long-lasting health impacts due to COVID. While children and adolescents are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID, it is still possible. COVID has become one of the top 10 causes of pediatric death, and tens of thousands of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID. 

Another important reason for children to get the COVID vaccine is to protect their friends, family, and the broader community from the spread of the virus. The higher the vaccination rates, the lower the chances that the coronavirus will mutate into additional variants. 

Clinical trials inform the dose and series authorized for children on the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine in these age groups. 

Scientists and medical experts have worked to ensure the vaccine is safe for children and adolescents ages 6 months to 17 years old. Before being authorized for children, these experts completed their review of safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials involving thousands of children. What's more, 22 million children and adolescents ages 5-17 have already received the COVID vaccine.

Data from trials will continue to be collected for two years after each vaccine is first administered to ensure they are safe for the long term. As with all vaccines, there will be ongoing monitoring among people who are vaccinated.

All the COVID vaccines have undergone a rigorous review process before being authorized for a given age group. The FDA's evaluation of vaccines for young kids has been part of this overall thorough review process. Clinical trials were not started in children until after the trials in adults showed the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. Additionally, part of what made the review process longer for young kids is that experts were determining what dosage and series would be safe and effective for children under five. After reviewing initial data on the effectiveness of the vaccine in young kids, the FDA waited to receive additional findings from clinical trials to ensure that its recommendation was based on a substantial amount of clinical data. 

It is safe for children and adolescents to get a COVID vaccine and other routine pediatric immunizations during the same visit. Side effects of the COVID vaccines are typically mild and subside in one to two days — like soreness in the arm, fatigue, headaches, or a slight fever.

The risk of a child having a serious adverse reaction to the COVID vaccine is very low. One rare complication that has been linked to the COVID vaccine is myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), and data demonstrate a higher risk for such inflammation among younger males. However, reports of these complications are rare. The risk of developing myocarditis after a COVID infection is much higher than the risk of developing myocarditis after the vaccine. 

If you have questions about how to protect your children from COVID, about the vaccines, or about myocarditis, speak to your health care provider or pediatrician.

COVID vaccine is widely available across the Panhandle for individuals age 6 months and over, there are no out-of-pocket expenses.

Panhandle Vaccine Locations

  1. Box Butte/Grant: safeway.com
  2. Walk-ins welcome
  3. Dave's Pharmacy Hemingford & Alliance, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5:30 PM
  4. Alliance Community Pharmacy, Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM - 6 PM
  5. Cheyenne/Deuel: Call to schedule an appointment 308-254-5544 | walmart.com | safeway.com
  6. Dawes/Sioux: walmart.com | safeway.com
  7. Walk-ins welcome
  8. Western Community Health Resources, Monday-Friday, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, Call 308-432-8979 to schedule an appointment outside these hours.
  9. Garden: To schedule an appointment, call (308) 772-3283.
  10. Regional West Garden County Clinic, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM
  11. Kimball: To schedule an appointment, call (308) 235-1966.
  12. Walk-ins welcome Kimball Health Services, Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 4:30 PM
  13. Morrill: Call to schedule an appointment
  14. Walk-ins welcome
  15. Morrill County Hospital Clinic (Bridgeport), Thursdays, 8 AM - 4:30 PM call 308-262-1755
  16. Chimney Rock Medical Center (Bayard), Tuesdays, 8 AM - 4:30 PM call 308-586-1717
  17. Sheridan: To schedule an appointment, call (308) 282-0401.
  18. Walk-ins welcome
  19. Gordon Rural Health Clinic, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM and 1 PM - 4 PM
  20. Scotts Bluff/Banner: walmart.com | safeway.com | walgreens.com
  21. Walk-ins welcome
  22. Gering CAPWN Health Center, Monday-Friday, 9 AM-12 PM & 1 PM-4 PM
  23. Scotts Bluff County Immunization Clinic, 313 W 38th St, Monday-Friday, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM. If you need an evening appointment, please call 630-1126.

If you are homebound or have a condition that makes it hard for you to access a COVID vaccine, call Janet Felix, LPN, at 308-672-4653. If you have lost your COVID vaccine card, go to https://tinyurl.com/2zh7uhhu.

COVID Testing Access

Free COVID test kits are available at community locations throughout the Panhandle. Find a location near you at https://tinyurl.com/4fkydcfe.

Residents can have as many as their family needs with a limit of six at one time at no charge. These are important to have on-hand so if you or a family member feels a minor COVID-like symptom, you can quickly test to make a decision about how to keep yourself and others that may be around you healthy and safe.

Once picked up, individuals can perform the test on their own or be helped through a video call. If done through the video call, you will receive a certified lab report that can be used for travel, medical procedures, and other documentation needs.

In addition to the local test kits available, Panhandle residents can also order four, free at-home COVID tests at COVIDtests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Current COVID testing access can also be found at http://pphd.org/COVID-19.html.

Panhandle COVID Dashboard Update

The Panhandle COVID dashboard provides region-wide data on COVID trends around the area and is available at www.pphd.org. The state COVID dashboard is available at https://tinyurl.com/ufj9fcuf. For the most up to date information from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.