Eagle County children ages 5 and up can now be vaccinated against COVID-19
The pediatric dosage is now available at multiple clinics and locations in the county
Starting Thursday, COVID-19 vaccines became available for children between the ages of 5 to 11 in Eagle County at various clinics and locations. This follows shortly after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for this age group Tuesday.
Some vaccines for this age group became available on Thursday, but starting Saturday, more locations will be offering the pediatric dosage. Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine are considered mandatory for this age group and can be administered 21 days after the first dose is given.
The CDC approved a dosage for this age group that is “much less than for adults,” according to a press release from Eagle County Public Health and the Environment.
Heath Harmon, the county’s public health director, said that the smaller dosage as well as running a clinic for younger children add a certain level of complexity for locations administering the vaccine.
“It can take a longer amount of time to provide the shot or answering questions that parents may have,” he said, adding that the public health clinics are also “limiting the flow to ensure adequate time with each family.”
The local public health clinics will have specific time slots for children to help combat the added complexities.
Current availability for this low dosage is also slightly lower than the vaccines for adults, but shipping and manufacturing is picking up the pace. Eagle County Public Health and Environment, in its release, warned that the community should expect limited supplies initially.
Vaccine eligibility and availability for this age group comes as incidence rates in Eagle County continue to rise. On Friday, the one-week incidence rate in the county was at 318.2 cases per 100,000 — up from 296 cases per 100,000 last week.
Eagle County Public Health and Environment is recommending that all residents wear face coverings when entering public indoor spaces if the incidence rate hits or exceeds 300 cases per 100,000. Incidence and case rates for the county are available at EagleCountyCovid.org.
With the rise in incidents, Harmon said that there has also been an increase in the cases among children between the ages of 5 and 10.
“The timing is unfortunate as they are now eligible for vaccination,” he said. “We also see transmission occur within home. So if a child who has not had a chance to be vaccinated yet gets COVID-19, we often see transmission occur to other household members, even among people who have been vaccinated.”
However, with these vaccines now available for children between the ages of 5 and 11, it could have a positive impact on the overall incidence rate in the county.
“Even though children are much less likely to have severe disease if infected, the vaccination will help prevent illness and spread within our community,” Harmon said.
Last week, the public health order requiring masks for all students, teachers, staff and visitors in all pre-kindergarten to eighth grade buildings was extended through Dec. 17. Harmon has previously stated that the threshold for lifting the public health order is when the incidence rate hits 50 cases per 1,000 in the county.
With the vaccine eligibility expanding to include 5- to 11-year-olds, this will help increase the overall immunity of the community — however, it remains to be seen whether this will lead to the order being lifted ahead of Dec. 17.
“As more people gain immunity in Eagle County, it decreases the likelihood for severe diseases associated with COVID-19. This will help drive adjustments to the thresholds in schools where we can move from required to recommended use of face coverings,” Harmon said. “The timing is still under discussion since the medical system for Colorado is significantly stressed at this time, particularly with high utilization of ICU beds and hospitalizations.”
For now, public health’s focus will remain on ensuring that residents ages 5 and older have access to the vaccines.
“Our priority for this age group is to ensure there are as many opportunities as possible within the community to initiate vaccination or become fully vaccinated before the upcoming holiday season,” Harmon said.
Vaccine and testing availability
The following locations will be offering vaccines for those between the ages of 5 and 11:
- City Market pharmacies
- Mountain Family Health Centers
- Colorado Mountain Medical
- Eagle County Public Health and Environment
- State Mobile Clinics
- MIRA in partnership with the state
In addition, starting Saturday and running through Dec. 23, all Eagle County public health clinics will follow the below schedule:
- Tuesdays: At the Eagle County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall from 1-3 p.m. (12 and older) and 3-7 p.m. (5-11 year olds only after 3 p.m.)
- Wednesdays: At the Eagle County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (12 and older) and 3-6 p.m. (5-11 year olds only after 3 p.m.)
- Thursdays: At the old urgent care in Chapel Square (230 Chapel Place) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (12 and older) and 3-6 p.m. (5 to 11 year olds only after 3 p.m.)
- Saturdays: At the old urgent care in Chapel Square (230 Chapel Place) from 9 a.m. to noon (12 and older) and 1-4 p.m. (5 to 11 year olds only after 1 p.m.)
There will also be a number of state mobile clinics offering vaccines for this age group.
- Buses typically come into Eagle River Valley for three consecutive days (Fri., Sat., Sun.)
- Current locations are Freedom Park (Fri.), Avon Elementary (Sat.), Eagle Valley HS (Sun.)
- These sites will operate on Nov. 5, 6 and 7.
- More dates as well as locations in the Roaring Fork Valley in collaboration with Pitkin County will be announced soon.
- The schedule is based on the state bus availability, so scheduling is only confirmed about 2 to 3 weeks in advance.
Booster doses are also currently available in Eagle County for individuals who completed a series of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago and are over the age of 18. Individuals who received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson at least two months ago are also eligible to receive a booster shot.
Local public health also announced this week updates to its COVID-19 testing sites in Eagle and Edwards. Primarily, these updates included changes to the dates and times testing is available.
There is currently testing available in Eagle on Fifth Avenue at Eagle Town Park, operating Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The details have yet to be finalized for the testing site in Edwards, but it is planned to be in operation by Monday, Nov. 8. The Edwards location will also operate Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.