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Regional News

Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines soon available in North Idaho, Northeast Washington

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Courtesy of the Federal Food and Drug Administration
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Vaccines for children between 5 and 11 are already available in Northeast Washington and will soon be in the Idaho Panhandle.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup gave the go-ahead this week for providers to vaccinate children against COVID-19.

Matt Schanz, administrator of the Northeast Tri County Health District, says 50 doses of the Pfizer Pediatric vaccine have already been distributed to area clinics and the district still has about 250 more to distribute. For now, the district’s clinics are limited to teenagers and adults; Schanz says families in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties should contact their children’s provider to schedule appointments.

He says over the last month and a half, about 650 children under the age of 19 have tested positive for covid in the district’s three-county coverage area, and urged families to consider the vaccine.  

“While that severity of illness is not as common in that age group, it’s still a possibility,” he says, “There are also other indirect impacts, from disruption of being able to go to school, a period of isolation, that others in their household or family network will be exposed to COVID-19. All of those other situations we want to prevent to the full extent that we can through vaccination.”

Panhandle Health District spokesperson Katherine Hoyer says the district hopes to have appointments available at their office next week. She says parents should also contact their child’s healthcare provider directly to check if they have appointments available.

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