SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — In order to expand capacity to give COVID-19 vaccines to patients ages 5 to 11, Sansum Clinic held an all-day, first-come-first-served, by-appointment clinic today at its Pediatrics Department in Santa Barbara.
Nurses, medical assistants and our pediatricians primarily focused on administering the Pfizer vaccine to 338 patients.
“Vaccinating this group of children is an important step in the fight against COVID-19,” Sansum Clinic pediatrician Saida Hamdani said. “While we are not the only place in town vaccinating children of this age, we felt strongly about playing a part in the local effort to vaccinate a large number of youth before the holiday season begins.”
All of Sansum Clinic’s eight pediatric providers have been speaking to many families to answer questions and to explain the science behind the approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children.
Children in this age group are still required to receive two doses three weeks apart, in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
“The research has shown that these vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 in children of this age group,” another Sansum Clinic pediatrician Jerold Black said.“We are hopeful that our ability to vaccinate these younger patients gets us closer to herd immunity.”
While eligible children who are patients of Sansum Clinic can still receive the Pfizer vaccine during regular visits to the Pediatrics Department, Wednesday’s clinic helped to quickly immunize a large group of children in one day.
Nearly 28 million children in the U.S. became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine with the FDA’s and CDC’s emergency authorization.
With many children back in classrooms and participating in activities, COVID-19 vaccination in this age range protects children from getting ill and potentially spreading the infection to others.
Since the start of the pandemic, Sansum Clinic has provided 800 COVID-19 vaccines to children, and 27,500 COVID-19 vaccines to adults over 18.
As of November 16th, 61.3% of the county was fully vaccinated and 71.9 % of those eligible to receive the vaccine (age 5 and up) were vaccinated.
Pediatrics patients coming to Sansum Clinic for a COVID-19 vaccine need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and a consent form is required.
Families can schedule their child for a COVID-19 vaccine through MyChart, or by calling (805) 563-6211.
In addition, local pharmacies are administering vaccines for children. A list can be found by clicking here.