SEATTLE — More than 129,000 children ages 5 through 11 in Washington state have received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine since eligibility expanded to include them on Nov. 3, according to the state Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH said pediatric COVID-19 vaccination rates range from around 26% in the Puget Sound region to less than 8% in the south central and north central regions of the state.
As of Dec. 1, more than 56% of children ages 5-11 in Seattle had received their first vaccine dose, according to Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The number of children in Washington ages 5-11 who have received their first dose of the pediatric vaccine doubled in about two weeks. More than 60,000 children had received their first dose by Nov 15, and that number grew to more than 129,000 by Dec. 1.
State Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah said that while COVID-19 is often milder in children than adults, children can still get very sick and spread the disease.
“As a father, knowing our children are vaccinated helps me breathe a sigh of relief,” said Shah. “I am confident they are now much safer and more protected than they were just a month ago.”
Shah said getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 can help lower their risk of infection, reduce their chance of getting seriously ill and decrease their chance of hospitalization and death.
Thirteen children and teens age 18 and younger in Washington state have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
As of early November, nearly 6.6 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, the DOH said. Everyone ages 5 and over are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.
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