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Healthcare

COVID-19 vaccine now available for children ages 5-11

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The Pfizer-BioNTech® COVID-19 Vaccine has been approved for children ages 5-11 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the final recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Protecting children against COVID-19 is a giant leap forward in the fight against this virus and a great way to protect those around them,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of the state Department of Health. “South Dakota parents should talk to their child’s pediatrician to get trusted personalized medical advice and do what is right for their families.”

Starting Wednesday, under the FDA emergency use authorization, pediatric doses of the Pfizer® COVID-19 vaccines are available to the public. The initial federal vaccine allotment of 30,000 doses have been strategically disbursed amongst providers across the state to ensure a prompt and efficient vaccine administration process for children.

In a press release issued by the CDC, “COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications, such as “long COVID,” in which symptoms can linger for months… Vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years.”

South Dakota COVID-19 numbers update:

  • State’s death toll: 2,253 (+4 from the previous report)
    • Note: 'Death toll' indicates the number of deaths among people with COVID, but COVID may not have been the sole cause of death.
    • Deaths verifiably caused by COVID: 1,986
  • Active cases: 5,662 (+149 from the previous report)
  • People 12 and older who are fully vaccinated: 58.29%
    • Due to updated/data clean-up efforts of federal vaccination data and additional state residency information, the completed vaccine coverage rate decreased 2.52%.
  • 65,555 vaccine booster doses have been given (+3,358 from the previous report).
  • Currently hospitalized: 187 (-15 from the previous report)
    • Note: Currently Hospitalized numbers include COVID-19 cases and people that are in the hospital under transmission-based precautions. The number may include out-of-state cases and people

The South Dakota Department of Health says unvaccinated people make up the vast majority of newly reported deaths and hospitalizations.

They say, "The more the virus that causes COVID-19 circulates in a community, the more opportunities it has to transform into variants that can spread more easily. Help stop the spread and further mutation of the Coronavirus by getting vaccinated."

Find a vaccine: https://vaccines.gov