For Immediate ReleaseNovember 03, 2021
Parents can anticipate expanded appointment access as vaccine supply arrives
The following is a joint release from Marin County Public Health, Kaiser Permanente, MarinHealth, Marin Community Clinics, and Sutter Health.
San Rafael, CA – Marin County children ages 5-11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, following confirmation from Governor Gavin Newsom on November 3. This follows a sequence of reviews and recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup (WSSSRW), and California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
“This is a historic moment in our fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Public Health Officer. “In Marin we’ve seen firsthand just how safe and effective this vaccine is, and we’re finally able to extend that protection to our children.”
The federal, regional, and state agencies providing authorization performed independent, in-depth reviews of evidence of both safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. All concluded that the vaccine safely and effectively lowers the chance of children getting and spreading COVID-19. The vaccine was shown to be 90.7% effective at preventing symptoms of COVID-19 in clinical trials among this age group.
Children 5-11 will receive one-third the dose that adolescents and adults receive. The pediatric vaccine comes in different vials and packaging than the adult version, including smaller needles. Children 5-11 will receive two doses, three weeks apart, just like adolescents and adults.
Marin County Public Health (MCPH), Kaiser Permanente, MarinHealth, Marin Community Clinics, Sutter Health, other health care providers, pharmacies, Marin County Office of Education, and schools have been working closely together to protect residents throughout the pandemic, through shared goals and coordinated operations. There are an estimated 20,000 kids aged 5-11 in Marin. The current countywide goal is to vaccinate 75% of them with the first dose within one month.
Accessing Pediatric Vaccines
Pediatric vaccine supply is beginning to ship from manufacturers to vaccine providers across the United States. The first doses have arrived in Marin County, though many vaccine providers will not receive their shipments until the week of November 8, with larger amounts of vaccine expected in later November. Appointments will be limited until more vaccine is available.
Starting November 6, MCPH will begin offering the pediatric vaccine on weekends at larger scale pop-up vaccination clinics for children 5-11. Appointments for weekend clinics will open in the next 24-48 hours. After November 8, MCPH’s mobile clinics will also begin offering the pediatric vaccine and has plans to administer the vaccine at 11 schools. Appointments are strongly encouraged at all Marin vaccine sites because high demand is anticipated. Appointments for most vaccination sites can be made at GetVaccinatedMarin.org. Walk-in availability is not guaranteed.
Kaiser Permanente (KP) will begin booking appointments for children ages 5-11 online at KP.org/covidvaccine on Nov. 4. Most appointments are expected to begin next week, though if vaccine supplies are available sooner KP will make every effort to offer appointments earlier. Kaiser Permanente members are encouraged to make an appointment for a no-cost COVID-19 vaccination at any Marin vaccine site, school, or pharmacy most convenient for them or at KP.
In the coming days and weeks, the vaccine will be more widely available at local retail pharmacies, health care centers and other vaccine dispensing locations. Because many sites will not be able to begin vaccinating children until next week, families are encouraged to check providers’ websites and GetVaccinatedMarin.org, MyTurn.ca.gov, or vaccines.gov for more information about which sites in the Bay Area have received their doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine and started vaccinating children.
Protecting families and our community
Marin County has the highest vaccination rate in the State of California. As of early November, 93% of Marin residents ages 12-17, currently the youngest age group eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, have received at least one dose.
Parents are encouraged to protect their families from COVID-19 by vaccinating their children and themselves as soon as possible. Vaccinating children will reduce their chances of being infected with COVID-19 and therefore reduce their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long-term COVID-19 complications. Getting your children vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19 as well as reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission. Especially as many families consider their holiday plans in the coming weeks, vaccination is an important way to protect children, older and medically vulnerable family members, and members of the community.
Laine HendricksPublic Information OfficerCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite #325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7496Email: Laine HendricksCounty Administrator website