SOUTHERN COLORADO — This week makes a turning point in the pandemic as kids can now get Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine after the CDC director signed off.
Local health departments and the Children's Hospital in Colorado Springs are making the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine easily accessible to families and their children. COVID vaccines for kids ages five to 11 will begin to roll out on Friday in El Paso County.
They will be administered at El Paso County Public Health South, El Paso County Public Health Southeast WIC Office, Children's Hospital Colorado Springs, the Chapel Hills Mall, the Citadel Mall, and three Safeways. Pre-registration is available online for those locations. Clinics are filling up quickly, but they'll receiving weekly shipments of vaccine supplies in the upcoming weeks.
In Pueblo County, providers should start receiving kid vaccines this week for children ages five to 11. For now, parents can find vaccine providers by visiting the Pueblo County Health Department
While the kid-sized doses are welcome news for many parents, others remain skeptical.
"I have two kids that are ages eight and ten so I am absolutely for the vaccination," said Margo Morris, a mother and nurse who plans to take her two kids to get their vaccine soon. "I'm not going to be the first one in line, however I might wait a couple months just to see what new stories do come out, however the plan is to get them vaccinated eventually."
Some parents want to wait to vaccinate their kids, including Alexis Marrow. She has an 8-year-old son, and is waiting for more research to be done.
"I don't think its something we're going to jump on right away. We're going to wait and follow up with his doctors," said Marrow.
Marrow said last year, her son had complications from MIS-C, a condition where different parts of the body can become inflamed after children get the virus that causes COVID-19.
"He was in the ICU for seven days and the doctor, when I asked the doctor in the hospital, he did say he would be a good candidate for the vaccine if it becomes available for him," said Marrow.
According to the Pueblo Department of Health and Environment, in Pueblo County, schools, child care centers and extra-curricular activities account for the highest number of newly-reported outbreaks in the area. According to El Paso County Public Health, in El Paso County, kids ages five to 11 have the highest incident rate of COVID-19 than any other age group.
While local health departments are making it easy to get your children vaccinated parents say it's a decision that is left to the family.
"I do believe it protects our children, however I do understand that parents may have apprehension to getting the vaccination for their kids," said Morris.
"It's a personal preference between families, and depends on your immune system," said Marrow.
Medical experts and the Biden administration are hoping to reassure parents that the benefits of the shot outweigh the risks. 15,000,000 doses are already arriving at hospitals, pharmacies and doctor's offices across the country. The available supply is expected to increase through this weekend and into next week.
For more information about when and where vaccines will be administered, click here.