Pueblo health department urges thousands of families to get COVID-19 vaccine

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Pueblo, Colo. — The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available to any Coloradan ages 5 and up who want the vaccine and the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) is educating parents about the vaccination process.

Parents can find vaccine providers by visiting pueblohealth.org/vaccine, visiting mobilevax.us, or by texting their zip code to 438829. This texting option also allows users to request a ride to their vaccine appointment from Lyft or Uber or arrange childcare for their appointment.

PDPHE maintains a website listing all providers in the community who offer the COVID-19 vaccine in Pueblo County. The website has been updated to include information on which vaccine each location is administering as well as what providers will be offering vaccine to the 5-11 age group. All of the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 mobile vaccine busses and the Pueblo Mall vaccination site offer the Pfizer vaccine, and most do not require an appointment.

“We are excited to hear that this safe and effective vaccine is now available to additional Coloradans between the ages of five and 11,” said Zak Van Ooyen, program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. “We are seeing higher rates of cases of COVID-19 in teenagers and children. We know there is a clear link between high vaccination rates and reduced spread of the illness, and this vaccine can now provide relief for thousands of additional families across the state.”

According to the Pueblo health department, schools, child care centers, extracurricular activities, clubs and sports account for the highest proportion of newly reported outbreaks in Pueblo County.

The health department will adjust the COVID-19 data dashboard to include all Pueblo County residents ages 5 and up in the vaccine-eligible population when the website updates at 5 p.m., Friday, November 5, 2021. According to PDPHE, vaccination rates will appear to temporarily decline.

“Kids should get to be kids, and that means being able to safely attend school, play with friends and enjoy other activities away from home,” Van Ooyen said. “Getting a COVID-19 vaccine for your child can help keep them safe and can give you peace of mind that they are protected for whatever special moments life brings.”

“Widespread vaccination is the best way to protect kids from COVID-19 and help end the pandemic,” explained Randy Evetts, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. “Children who are vaccinated can more safely attend school or daycare, gather with family and friends and enjoy other activities away from home.  The approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for this age group is an exciting milestone for families in our community.”

On Oct. 26, 2021, the FDA announced an amendment to the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages 5-11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met Nov. 2, 2021 and approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in this younger population, the CDC Director approved following the meeting. In a clinical trial, the Pfizer vaccine was shown to be safe and effective among people ages 5-11.

Common side effects of the vaccine in this age group were similar to those seen among young adults (e.g., temporary sore arm, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle aches). CDC and FDA will continue monitoring for safety.

The Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines continue to be available only to adults 18 years of age and older.

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment Clinic will be offering the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11 on Mondays by appointment only. To make an appointment with the clinic, call 719-583-4380.

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