MISSOULA — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11 earlier this week and we're working to answer your questions as Missoula works to roll out doses.
Community Medical Center Dr. Lauren Wilson called the news "such a relief" adding that she will be getting her children vaccinated.
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"There's kind of a staged start to vaccination, some people are starting sooner than others, we expect to reach full capacity next week," Dr. Wilson said. "We as a group, as a national organization of pediatricians are recommending that children get vaccinated," she continued.
Vaccine distribution started nationwide this week, "deliveries are happening all over the city of Missoula to various vaccine providers," Dr. Wilson said.
Some pharmacies have already started delivering the vaccine shot.
For example, a "Pediatric Pfizer Clinic" will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6 for kids ages 5-to-11 at the Osco Pharmacy inside the Albertsons in the Eastgate Plaza in Missoula. Click here to schedule an appointment.
"They know that they can go to the Health Department or CVS or Walgreens," noted Missoula County COVID-19 Lead Public Information Officer Hayley Devlin.
The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) will start appointments on Monday, Nov. 8 and people can book those online beginning on Saturday here.
"The more vaccinated people the better," said Devlin.
On top of rolling out distribution, Missoula's COVID-19 experts are battling misinformation.
"If you're getting your health information from Facebook, from a blog, you don't know who's creating that content or what their intentions are. So it's best to trust the experts. Listen to the people who have been studying these things their whole lives, and who went into these difficult industries and careers because they're compassionate about helping other people." - Missoula County COVID-19 Lead PIO Hayley Devlin.
MCCHD launched parent education week to share trusted information from trusted sources on their website and social media.
"People who go into health care, they do it because they're compassionate individuals who want to help people. They're not out there to trick people," Devlin said.
Dr. Wilson said that parents with questions about the vaccine should ask their doctor. "Talk with your primary care doctor, whether it s a pediatrician, nurse practitioner, pa, family doctor, about their recommendations."
Experts say this information, and the vaccine, are helpful.
"I'm part of a community of pediatricians and every single one of us is rushing out to get our children vaccinated because we know how valuable it is, and how much it can help kids," said Dr. Wilson.
People who don't have a trusted health care provider can access the information compiled by the Health Department directly online.