COVID-19: Denver groups prepare to vaccinate children


    A CDC panel gave the final sign-off on giving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 on Tuesday.

    COLORADO, USA — About a week after the FDA gave the green light for giving doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to kids age 5-11, a CDC panel gave it the final sign-off Tuesday.

    The dosage of the vaccine for young children is one-third of the size for adults. 

    But even before Tuesday, hospitals and other entities have been racing to put in orders for the vaccine for children aged 5-11. 

    Additionally, the state has been trying to set up clinics at places like museums and zoos, in hopes to open up access to more children of that age group. 

    Some communities with lower vaccinations rates in the Denver area are communities of color. There has been a push to reach more adults in those areas, and that push will now include young children. 

    For Servicios De La Raza in Denver, the anticipation of getting children vaccinated is increasing as fast as the amount of calls coming in. 

    “We are busy, we have a high volume of calls with the community calling and wanting to come back and get their booster,” said Hilda Gonzalez, a program director with Servicios De La Raza.

    She said parents getting their booster shots will soon be able to bring their kids age 5 to 11 as well.

    “As of today when we get that final decision we will be putting in a request to do those 5 to 11 years old but I’m assuming their parents will also reach out to their pediatricians,” Gonzalez said before the CDC vote Tuesday. 

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    For those that can’t get to their pediatricians’ office, people would have access to night clinics, which started last week. 

    The night clinic at Servicios De La Raza is by appointment only and runs every Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. The goal is give access to families that may not be able to get away from their day jobs or school. 

    “This is very important for us because our community, the Latino community, don’t have the tools and the information provided to them,” Gonzalez said. 

    As of Oct. 31, data from Denver Health shows that just 49% of Hispanic or Latino residents in Denver are completely vaccinated, compared to 80% of white, non-Hispanic people. 

    “There was a lot of lack information and misunderstanding side effects and things like that,” Gonzalez said. 

    That’s why Servicios and other groups have been working to inform these communities in their own neighborhoods and language, as well as distribute the vaccine. 

    “We have the resources and the staff to do it,” Gonzalez said. “We are very excited to hear that final decision and move forward.”

    She said they’ve vaccinated around 10,000 people in total since being able to have their team give doses of the vaccine. 

    On Nov. 23rd, Servicios De La Raza is holding a Thanksgiving distribution where they plan to provide meals and information on the vaccine to 300 to 500 families. 

    Servicios was also awarded $25,000 to increase vaccinations among youth. The funding is called Together We Protect and originates from Caring for Colorado. The project has a goal to reach all vaccine-eligible youth, with a focus on Latinos. 

    Servicios will also partner with local schools for an art contest that requires the artwork to include Servicios’ COVID-19 support phone number, with the goal to connect youth to the information, as well as to schedule a vaccination appointment. 

    Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children plans to distribute 300 doses on Nov. 6 to children 5-11, but a spokesperson said almost all of those spots are full.

    Children’s Hospital of Colorado is planning to host several vaccination clinics as soon as Nov. 5. 

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