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Rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations to kids in South Georgia, Big Bend

What kids and parents need to know
Posted at 10:19 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 13:23:37-04

(WTXL) — Doctors are saying the Pfizer COVID-19 shot for kids ages five to 11 is safe, effective, and helps cut down on the risk of getting sick.

"It's effective, over 90 percent effective."

Dr. Stephanie Whyte, a Board Certified Pediatrician with CVS Health, said clinical trials show that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe for children ages 5 to 11. And so far, kids are showing a strong response. She says after getting the shot, the risk of getting COVID-19, being hospitalized, and spreading the virus is decreased.

As local communities try to roll out vaccines as quickly as possible, Madison County Memorial Hospital is ready to give out the shot to kids at their drive-thru at the hospital every day.

Lori Evans, a Public Relations and Community Development Specialist with the hospital, said, "The drive-thru I'm sure as big a hit it was for adults is going to be an even bigger hit to be able to have it available to do kids."

That's step one. The hospital is working on a mobile unit to go out into the community, bringing education and vaccinations to more kids and families in the Big Bend.

At South Heath District in South Georgia, they are waiting for guidance on vaccine roll-out for kids. Kristin Patten, the Public Information Officer at South Health District, said they're excited to get going.

"All day, every day, that's what we do vaccination is our job and so I'm sure that this roll-out will not be that different than any other vaccine that we give to children."

The most common side effects after taking the shot are a sore arm, fatigue, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last about 2 days. Dr. Whyte said not to worry, that's a result of the body building a response to the vaccine. And, she said that getting ahead of the problem is the best way to keep kids safe.

"We want to address the risk of being infected, the risk of being sick, and the risk of spreading it that's why it's important for kids to be vaccinated."

Drive-thru vaccines are already available at Madison County Memorial Hospital. Their mobile vaccination unit will start serving the community this Spring.