In a virtual media briefing on Nov. 18, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy spoke about the FDA’s and CDC’s authorization and recommendation for pediatric vaccines for kids ages 5 through 11.
“We now have an opportunity to protect some of our most vulnerable community members. I say that not just as a doctor and a surgeon general, but as a dad who has two kids under 12, and I’ve been waiting, along with my wife, Alice, for this moment to come so that we can get our children protected, too. And that’s exactly what the vaccine does.”
He explained that the vaccine is highly effective and it has a very strong safety profile.
“This vaccine was tailored specifically for kids,” said Murthy. “The dose is lower—it’s about a third of the dose that adults get—but it also went through clinical trials specific for 5- through 11-year-olds. It went through a careful, rigorous review of the data by independent scientists, as well as by scientists in government. And in their review process, they followed the same high standards that we apply to all vaccines.”
In the meantime, the City of Seattle is gearing up to protect residents against COVID-19 during the holidays.
As of press time, 87.5% of residents 12+ have begun vaccinations in Seattle.
“We’ve led the country in keeping our community safe, but the pandemic is still with us,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “As we approach the holiday season and look forward to finally safely gathering with family and friends, vaccines and testing remain a critical tool to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community… It is up to us to prevent another surge in infections this winter by wearing masks, washing hands, getting vaccinated, and getting tested at the first sign of symptoms or exposure.”
Testing sites include fixed locations with UW Medicine in Aurora, SODO, Rainier Beach, and West Seattle, as well as seven Curative kiosks placed throughout the city. Over 1.2 million tests have been administered at City of Seattle, UW, and Curative sites since their launch in 2020.
Health officials say residents should plan ahead for COVID-19 testing and possible increased wait-time for results, as they anticipate an increased demand during the holiday season as people travel and gather indoors.
COVID-19 can appear similar to the common cold or seasonal flu, and anyone with any of the following symptoms should seek testing: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
If you have been in close contact with someone for 15 minutes or longer who has COVID-19, you should also be tested.
Anyone 5+ who lives or works in King County and has not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination or who is eligible for a booster should make an appointment today. Booster eligibility has been expanded to anyone 18+ who received a J&J vaccine at least two months ago; anyone 18+ who received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago; and anyone 18+ who is moderately or severely immunocompromised and received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days ago.
This health series is made possible by funding from the Washington State Department of Health, which has no editorial input or oversight of this content.