Pediatricians expecting COVID vaccine slots to fill up fast

Children in the Capital Region will soon be rolling up their sleeve for the COVID shot. Many pediatricians say they’re expecting appointment slots to fill up quickly. Vaccine clinics are already set at some medical centers.

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Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen says Albany County has about 20,000 kids now eligible, and that the county has already received its first shipment of vaccines, with about 1,500 doses.

She adds there will be a weekly shipment after that from the state.

Dr. Diane Tenenbaum with Schoolhouse Pediatrics says her clinic received a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine as well, and that they’ll start vaccinating kids in the next day or so.

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"We know that COVID is definitely out there, and it can be such a scary illness. It is considered the eighth leading cause of death now in children between the ages of 12 and 18, and we know children have been hospitalized with this as well, so protecting our 5 to 11-year-olds is not only going to be protecting them, but the people that they come into contact with as well," said Tenenbaum.

"The vaccination went through very rigorous trials, the efficacy appears to be around the same for the Pfizer vaccine as it is for adults, about 91% effective, so this is great news," said Whalen.

Some skeptics have questioned the need for kids to get vaccinated, since they are less likely than adults to develop severe COVID-19.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a recent White House briefing that with the delta variant, kids get infected and transmit "just as readily as adults do."