PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Palm Harbor Pharmacy is one of the places in the Tampa Bay area that has finally received a shipment of Pfizer's child vaccine for families who are interested in getting their younger children vaccinated.
“We kind of just announced that we have it so we have quite a few kids coming in this week whose parents have decided they want to get their kids vaccinated," said Dr. Nicolette Mathey, Pharmacist and Owner of Palm Harbor Pharmacy
“We’re prepared. We have some treasure box toys and that kind of thing just to help the kids,” she added.
It’s been about two weeks since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on making Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine available for kids ages 5-11.
“It’s a whole different formulation. It’s a lower dose, it’s a lesser quantity, smaller needle size for the kids,” said Mathey.
The White House estimates nearly 1 million younger kids have already received their first shot of Pfizer’s two-dose series, and another 700,000 appointments are scheduled at pharmacies in the coming days.
“A sore arm is very common for the children, just like any vaccine. They might feel a slight fever later on that night, maybe 10-12 hours later,” said Mathey.
“They may be a little tired for a day but nothing too severe or nothing out of the ordinary for any other vaccines,” she added.
According to the Florida Department of Health, 44,694 kids 5 to 11 receive the first dose of the vaccine in the first week of authorization. That’s about 3% of the age population for this state.
At Palm Harbor Pharmacy, staff members are prepared to answer questions and vaccinate any kids in the community whose parents are ready and choose to make that decision.
“It’s your kid. I would definitely talk with your pediatrician and see what you’re comfortable with and if you need it, we’re here” said Mathey.
If you haven’t been able to get an appointment yet at different pharmacies and pediatrician offices across the Tampa Bay area, don’t worry. Health experts say they’re still in the middle of the vaccine rollout and in a few weeks appointments should be easily available.
Here’s a list of vaccination sites.