Pediatric vaccine doses for COVID-19 available in Northeast Arkansas

by George Jared ([email protected]) 124 views 

Cases of COVID-19 have continued to decline in Northeast Arkansas, and now a new weapon has been deployed to push those numbers down even further. Children ages 5-11 can now receive the virus vaccine thanks to federal approval.

The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University is offering pediatric doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and has immediate availability at the NYITCOM Medical Clinic.

All individuals ages five and up are eligible to receive the vaccine following a unanimous vote from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

“We’re very pleased at this announcement, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to provide these crucial vaccinations to those in the newly-approved age groups,” said Dr. Steven Lewis, medical director of the NYITCOM Medical Clinic. “I highly recommend that everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated do so. It’s a tremendous step forward in this fight against this awful virus.”

Children in the newly-approved age groups will receive a smaller dose than the one offered to adults. The children’s vaccine is 10 micrograms, while the adult and adolescent vaccine is a 30-microgram dose. In clinical trials, Pfizer’s vaccine for kids proved highly effective at triggering antibodies to COVID-19, and it showed more than 90% efficacy at blocking symptomatic disease.

“The data continues to show that these vaccines are safe and effective,” said Dr. Shane Speights, dean of NYITCOM at A-State and a practicing family physician. “I highly encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Statewide, cases continued to drop as of Wednesday (Nov. 10), according to the Arkansas Department of Health. At least 8,522 have died statewide, and there are 4,360 active cases.

In Craighead County, there are 164 active cases and there have been at least 246 deaths. An estimated 21,277 people have recovered from the virus in the county.

Crittenden County has 59 active cases, while at least 179 people have died from the virus. Mississippi County, another hot spot in Northeast Arkansas, has 84 active cases and 143 reported deaths. Greene County, the second most populous county in the region, has 106 active cases and 124 reported deaths.