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Rollout of COVID-19 vaccine set to start for kids in Riverside County


The U.S. has started its administration of the coronavirus vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, which is the latest group to become eligible for the shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Pfizer's pediatric vaccine after it was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

The California Department of Public Health announced that the state will begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Parents will be able to schedule their COVID vaccine appointments on the state's MyTurn website starting on Thursday, Nov. 4.

Full Details: Kids ages 5-11 will be able to get COVID vaccinations in CA starting Nov. 4

Riverside County said the doses and vaccine needles will be smaller for kids. It also says it has enough supply available. 

"Right now, for the county-sponsored vaccine sites we're planning to roll out starting on Saturday," said Riverside County's public health officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung. "We also think this is really well-timed because if children 5 to 11 are able to start getting their vaccine now, they'll also be protected as we go into the holidays when we know that families want to get together."

Palm Springs Unified School District is partnering with Desert Oasis Healthcare to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to students ages 5 to11. The district said the vaccine is not mandatory for school attendance at this time. However, the district said it wants to give easy access to the vaccine for parents who want to provide for their children.

"It really gives parents just a safe space that they're already at picking up their kids from school or in close by in their neighborhoods," said PSUSD's director of health services, Laura Dyson. "They don't have to make an appointment with their doctors or do any of that. They can just come into the school site and get their vaccines."

PSUSD said starting sometime next week, those newly qualified students for the coronavirus vaccine will be able to go to any of the high schools within the district to get their shot. The official date and times have yet to be set.

There was a survey sent out to 11,053 PSUSD parents of students ages 5 to11 if they plan to vaccinate their kids. As of 3 p.m. on Oct. 3, there were 1,888 responses which is about 16% so far. Of those who have responded, 51% said they are not ready to vaccinate their children, 36% said they're ready, and 12% said they're unsure.

One PSUSD parent, Cristal Riccio, said she wants to wait before vaccinating her son.

"I just want a little bit of more research. But eventually, I think he will get it just because we want to make sure that he's safe as well," said Riccio.

Desert Sands Unified School District said it is discussing providing vaccines. Coachella Valley Unified School District said it's also working on a rollout strategy for students. 

For any parents looking to vaccinate their child, most major pharmacies will have the shots available this weekend. 

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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