Prisma Health-Upstate announces upcoming pediatric vaccine events for ages 5 and older
For families planning to gather for the holidays in December, the time to schedule pediatric COVID vaccinations is now. Children ages 5 – 11 can now receive the two-dose Pfizer series.
Carley M. Howard Draddy, Prisma Health-Upstate’s Vice Chair of Quality and Medical Staff Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics and Medical Director of Pediatric Telehealth, said vaccine opportunities are available now and can help get children protected before the holidays.
“You get your first dose, and then the second dose is approximately 21 days after the first dose,” she said. “And in order to reach maximum immunity from the vaccine, we need to give our bodies about 14 days after the second dose. In order to be as protected as you can and be fully vaccinated, it really takes about five weeks from the start of the vaccine series.”
That five-week period runs right into family celebrations.
“If you look at dates – Christmas on Dec. 25 and Kwanzaa starts on Dec. 26 – if you want to have your children at the peak of that immune response, you’ve got to start the series by Nov. 20 for Christmas and Nov. 21 for Kwanzaa. We recommend that people do it as soon as possible.”
Though getting children vaccinated is important for protecting older or immune-compromised family members, that is only part of the equation.
“It is significantly about protecting the children, too,” Draddy said. “I can speak to that as a pediatrician and I’m also a mom of three.”
Draddy’s two oldest children, ages 8 and 5, received their first doses last week.
“I spent a lot of time reading the data and listening to the experts at the FDA and the CDC to make that decision, not only professionally for my patients, but also personally, for what I would do for my children,” she said.
Draddy has seen children admitted to the hospital and the ICU with COVID, and she said multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) most commonly effects that age 5 – 11 group.
For Draddy, this has been a long time coming.
“It’s a big relief,” she said.
To find a vaccination site, visit vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov. For ages 5 – 11, a pediatric Pfizer dose is required, so be sure to verify that a site will have that dosage available.
Vaccines are offered through many physician offices for their existing patients but also through Prisma Health’s primary vaccination site at 6 Doctors Drive, Greenville as well as through mobile clinics. Learn more here.
Upcoming pediatric vaccine events for ages 5 and older:
· Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on these dates: Nov. 13, Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 at 6 Doctors Drive, Greenville.
· Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. – noon: Kingdom Life Church, 416 Holland Road, Simpsonville.
· Saturday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Pickens County Meals on Wheels, 349 Edgemont Ave., Liberty.
· Saturday, Nov. 20, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: La Unica Supercenter, 6119 White Horse Road, #3, Greenville.