ThedaCare is committed to providing the most current and accurate COVID-19 vaccine information regarding eligibility, available doses and scheduling access.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a recommendation that Pfizer-BioNTech’s lower-dose COVID vaccine be available for children ages 5 to 11. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also granted emergency use authorization for the lower-dose Pfizer vaccine for children. As a result, more than 28 million children across the country are now able to receive their vaccines. ThedaCare will begin vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 on Tuesday, November 9, 2021.
“We are encouraged today as more of our children are now eligible to safely receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Mark Cockley, ThedaCare Chief Clinical Officer. “As a community, our purpose needs to be to protect ourselves, our children, our loved ones and our fellow community members.”
ThedaCare only recommends vaccines that are deemed to be safe, and encourages community members to get vaccinated when they are eligible. ThedaCare teams have been planning and mindfully preparing to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 for several weeks, ensuring coordination and continuing the long history of delivering vaccines safely and effectively. Dr. Cockley noted that Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 comes in a smaller dose, at 10 micrograms, compared to the 30 micrograms given to those ages 12 and up. Like the vaccine for older age groups, it is given in two doses, three weeks apart.
According to the CDC, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 1.9 million COVID cases, more than 8,300 hospitalizations and 94 deaths among children ages 5 to 11. Though most children do not get nearly as sick from COVID as adults, children are affected by the virus
“Children have been among those most impacted by the pandemic – from virtual learning and masking, to being isolated and away from friends – they have found ways to adapt,” said Dr. Cockley. “If more people are vaccinated, it will help us all, and allow our children to get back to more of those activities many of them have missed throughout the pandemic.”
According to the CDC, Pfizer has reported that children experience similar side effects as adults do after receiving the vaccine. The most common are pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. The side effects generally subside in 24 hours.
“The expanded vaccine eligibility is certainly an exciting moment, and it is important to get vaccinated if you are able to do so,” said Dr. Cockley. “When it comes to considering whether to get your child vaccinated, parents should have conversation with their child’s health care provider and do their own research from trusted sources, including the CDC.”
Vaccine Appointments Available
At this time, community members can begin scheduling vaccination appointments for children ages 5 to 11. Currently, Pfizer is the only COVID-19 vaccine authorized for people age 5 and older. ThedaCare will be offering the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 at locations across the service area, including in Appleton, Berlin, Neenah, New London, Shawano and Waupaca, as well as some primary care offices.
ThedaCare will manage COVID-19 vaccine scheduling for people primarily through MyThedaCare/My Chart. This process ensures a single channel of coordination of the vaccine and that the vaccine becomes part of patients’ electronic medical records. Once individuals are eligible, they can make an appointment to be vaccinated.
If you or your children are not current ThedaCare patients or do not have MyThedaCare, you can set up a free account at MyThedaCare.org. MyThedaCare is also accessible on mobile devices through the MyChart app (available on both iOS and Android).
Create a MyThedaCare Account:
- Visit MyThedaCare.org
- Click “Sign Up Now” and follow the prompts
- Visit MyThedaCare today to ensure your account information is up to date*. Then monitor your email and app alerts in the coming weeks for your notification.
Parents will need to create an account for themselves and then one for their child, if they do not already have one. If you are creating a new account for a minor child, a proxy request will need to be completed. If you need help locating the information or are having trouble accessing your MyThedaCare account, please call the MyThedaCare technical help desk at 877.259.6180. If you cannot access MyThedaCare, you can call your primary care provider’s office or 920.830.6877.
All children who are being vaccinated will need to have a parent/guardian with them at the vaccination appointment for consent. Written consent will not be accepted.
Vaccine updates will be available on the ThedaCare Facebook page and COVID-19 website. We encourage you to check those resources regularly and share them with friends and family. For more information about COVID-19, vaccines, testing, online care options, an online symptom checker, community resources, prevention guidelines and other important news and updates, please visit thedacarecovid19.org/.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in northeast and central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to more than 600,000 residents in 17 counties and employs approximately 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 points of care, including seven hospitals. As an organization committed to being a leader in Population Health, team members are dedicated to empowering people to live their best lives through easy access to individualized care, supporting each person’s own health and wellbeing. ThedaCare also partners with communities to understand unique needs, finding solutions together, and encouraging health awareness and action. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health system with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs, as well as primary care.
For more information, visit thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on social media. Members of the media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.