Pella Regional will offer limited pediatric COVID immunizations on a regular basis to the 5-11 year old age on Wednesdays. They will be available on a first-come, first served basis. PATIENTS WILL NEED TO BE SCHEDULED FOR THESE, there are no walk-ins available. Also, because of the logistics of the vaccine, they are not available to give during clinic appointments. They must be scheduled during specific opportunities by calling our call center.
Q: What is being offered?
A: CDC Approved Pfizer Vaccines for ages 5-11. The vaccine is administered in a 2 dose series, 21 days apart.
Q: What considerations or contraindications are there to receiving the vaccine?
A: Per the manufacturer and CDC, very few.
- It is recommended and approved for all children 5-11 including those with immunocompromised or previous history of COVID.
- It may be Co-administered with any other vaccines, or soon before or after any other vaccine regardless of timing (separate injection sites by an inch)
- Previous anaphylactic reaction to another COVID vaccine would be a contraindication.
- PATIENTS WITH CURRENT COVID INFECTION should wait until acute illness has passed, and they have met criteria to stop isolation.
Like any other vaccine, patients who have moderate to severe acute illness are advised to wait. We define this as having a temp of 100.1 or higher, per provider discretion, or parent comfort.
Q: What side effects can children and families expect?
A: Local: pain, swelling, erythema at the injection site. Systemic: fever, fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia, arthralgia, lymphadenopathy. In the study most side effects passed in a couple days. There were some very rare instances of high fever (104) that resolved in a day.
Pre-medicating before the vaccination is not recommended. Routine antipyretic or analgesic medications can be taken post-vaccination as needed. Of course, aspirin is not recommended in this age range. It is not recommended to take blood thinners or
Q: I’ve read about Myocarditis, should parents and providers be worried?
A: Per the ACIP there have been rare reports of myocarditis after COVID vaccines. There are higher rates of Myocarditis associated with having the COVID disease itself. It is considered safe to give to children, even with a prior history of myocarditis. If a child should develop myocarditis after a first dose, a second dose should not be given.
Q: Why can’t we give the vaccine during Well Child appointments or walk-ins?
A: Pediatric COVID vaccines comes in a 10 dose, multi-dose vial that must be reconstituted, and then used within 12 hours. We cannot give “one off” doses as it would waste vaccine. Schedule patients in groupings allows us to coordinate wise use of the vaccine.
Q: Is there a charge for the vaccine?
A: There is no charge for the vaccine, but we do charge an administration fee. However, any portion not covered by insurance is waived. In other words, it should never cost child/family any money out of pocket.
Q: What about children 12 and up or adults wanting the vaccine or the booster?
A: Pella Regional pharmacy, Hy-Vee, and public health are still providing primary vaccines AND boosters. Marion County Public Health is focusing on the adult population and letting clinics handle children.
Q: What about our clinics in Prairie City, Ottumwa, Bussey, and Sully?
A: We are waiting for information from Jasper and Wapello county for our other sites. Vaccine continues to be distributed at the county level. Until the vaccine is available in single dose form, it is unlikely we can offer in Bussey and Sully due to logistics of using multi-dose vaccines in smaller sites.
Q: Will the children get vaccine cards?
A: Yes, children will receive the federally issued vaccine cards like everyone else
Q: Are you keeping a waiting list?
A: We are not keeping waiting lists. We are not prioritizing doses – it is first come, first serve. At this time, we are not “pre-scheduling” as vaccine supply is not fully predictable. Patients and families should watch our website and social media for updates.
Q: I need to know more. I don’t have enough information.
A: There is a significant amount of information available on the CDC.
IDPH 11/3 Vaccine Brief on approval of peds COVID vaccine: Pfizer Pediatric Vaccine COVID-19 Vaccine Information Brief (iowa.gov)
Much information can be found at Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC
The study results can be personally reviewed in the New England Medical Journal here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2116298
Pella Regional’s Retail Pharmacy on the Square is still offering the Adult COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines and boosters on Fridays between 12-6pm. Call 641-628-1612 for more information.