How, where, and when can I get my children, both below the age of 12, vaccinated?
The Pfizer vaccine has been authorized for use in the 5-11-year-old population. Modoc County Public Health is offering pediatric COVID vaccines on Thursday afternoons. Please call (530)233-6311 to schedule an appointment. You may also be able to get your child vaccinated through their primary medical provider.
Isn’t natural immunity better or just as good as the vaccine? How is this different than having had chickenpox? Note, my kids were fully vaccinated and still got chickenpox as kids.
Overall, natural immunity is good; however, with this specific illness, COVID-19 there is a significant risk to natural immunity. You should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 because research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19. Vaccination helps protect you even if you’ve already had COVID-19. Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. One study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than 2 times as likely as fully vaccinated people to get COVID-19 again. In addition, some people can react vigorously and get a great antibody response. Other people don't get such a great response. Vaccine-induced immunity is more standardized and can be longer-lasting. Recent studies have shown that 1/3 of infections don't get any protective antibodies. In addition, there is a significant risk to obtaining natural immunity. Before vaccines for smallpox, measles, rubella, mumps, influenza, there was a significant risk of having complications when individuals had the disease, including potential hospitalizations and death. For instance, with rubella, babies were at risk to be born with lifelong birth defects when their mothers had rubella while pregnant. Since the use of the rubella vaccine, we do not have babies born with congenital rubella syndrome which causes lifelong disabilities.
How long after the second dose can/should someone, non-immunocompromised and healthy, get a booster, and will they be available in Modoc County?
Boosters are available in Modoc for everyone 18 years and older. Boosters are recommended 2 months after the J&J vaccine or 6 months after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?
Yes. Comprehensive clinical trials in more than 4,500 children ages 5-11 demonstrate the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective in this age group, resulting in a strong antibody response in children who received the vaccines. Clinical trials began in June for 5–11-year-olds in which a lower dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was tested. Pfizer announced in late September that their data demonstrated the vaccine is safe and produces a significant immune response. After this thorough study and the clinical trials, the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use. The CDC and Western States Scientific Review Group reviewed all data and recommended the vaccine for all children ages 5-11. There is consistent and real-world evidence of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. The vaccine has been given safely to millions of youth since it was authorized for ages 16 and up last December and for ages 12 and up in May.
If your question is related to an emergency, please call 9-1-1. For non-urgent, but time-sensitive questions, please call your doctor or a Public Health Nurse at 530-233-6311.