The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced last evening that, effective immediately, they recommend the Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series for everyone ages 5 years and older, under Emergency Use Authorization. COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) estimates there are approximately 284,000 Iowans in this age group.
Over 26,000 of the state’s initial 99,000 allocated pediatric doses are in the state currently, with the remaining doses to arrive in the coming days. If vaccines are not immediately available in all Iowa communities, please remain patient as providers wait for their supply. CDC has assured states that pediatric vaccine supply is adequate, and states are able to order more doses when needed.
Most of these pediatric vaccines will be administered in pediatric clinics, family medical clinics, Federally qualified health centers and rural health centers. Families should call their children’s vaccine provider (pediatrician, family medical clinic or local public health) to inquire about scheduling an appointment to have their children vaccinated. Pharmacies throughout the state are also administering the vaccine. Iowans with questions about the Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine should speak with their child’s healthcare provider.
IDPH also announces today the first influenza-related death confirmed as occurring during the 2021-22 influenza season: an elderly woman (81 years and over) from central Iowa with underlying conditions. The current flu season began on October 3, 2021.
Thus far, flu activity in Iowa remains low. The CDC recommends that essentially everyone over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. It takes up to two weeks after vaccination for the body to achieve full benefit against the flu virus.
“Though different in nature, these two announcements highlight how important it is that Iowa families take advantage of one of the most critical public health tools we have - vaccines. Both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from these viruses. Getting vaccinated for both influenza and COVID-19 can help preserve health care resources for other needs, including illnesses, injuries and emergencies,” said IDPH interim Director Kelly Garcia. “As we approach the holidays and winter months, I urge Iowans to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy by choosing to get vaccinated.”
Find a vaccine provider here: vaccinateiowa.gov or https://www.vaccines.gov/.