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Plans underway to offer COVID-19 vaccines at 5 CMS schools upon approval



CHARLOTTE Local Charlotte News — StarMed plans to set up COVID-19 vaccine clinics at five Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools once the vaccine is approved for children ages five to eleven.

The doses are smaller for children than adults and the needles are smaller. Pfizer is the vaccine expected to get emergency-use authorization for children ages five through eleven in early November.

“Kids we expect are going to be afraid of needles, but it’s a very tiny needle,” said Dr. Arin Piramzadian, Chief Medical Officer for StarMed.

Kids in Mecklenburg County can get their COVID shots at school if their parents give permission and if the FDA gives emergency-use authorization for children ages five to eleven

“We’re going to come to the schools, we want to make sure parents are comfortable with the situation, that they understand the benefits of how we’re doing this, and more so the benefits of your kids being safe from COVID,” said Dr. Piramzadian.

StarMed already has plans to offer vaccines at five CMS schools during school hours, including Barnette Elementary, James Martin Middle, Garinger High, Rocky River High, and Waddell Virtual.

StarMed is already working to address parents’ questions.

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“There’s all these concerns about myocarditis, pericarditis, heart inflammation associated with the vaccines. When you look at the statistics, it’s actually 6,000 times more likely to get those from the viral infection itself than from the vaccine,” said Dr. Piramzadian.

Mecklenburg County Public Health says there are 100,000 kids in the five to eleven age group in the county.

The county expects to get 13,500 doses in its first shipment of children’s vaccines in early November.

The White House says a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found more than a third of parents in the United States are ready for their kids in that age range to get the shot, but another third are hesitant.

“Most of them have gotten vaccinated themselves, but they still have questions about the vaccine, so having those parents have the conversations with their pediatrician, with their family physician, getting answers to their legitimate questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, is going to be really important,” said Dr. Bechara Choucair, the White House Vaccinations Coordinator.

The vaccines for children ages five through eleven are a third of the dose for adults, but they still come in two series shots, which are given 21 days apart.

Children under 16 will need parental permission in North Carolina to get the shot.

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