TAMPA, Fla. — Vaccination rates remain low for 5-11 year olds in Florida since Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine received emergency approval from the FDA on October 29.
As of last week, 3% of Florida kids 5-11 years old received the first shot, totaling more than 50,000 kids out of 1.7 million statewide, according to numbers from the White House.
Nationwide, a slow start to vaccinations for the youngest of American's was expected.
What You Need To Know
- Vaccination rates remain low for 5-11 year olds in Florida
- 3% of Florida kids 5-11 years old received the first shot, according to numbers from the White House
- More coronavirus headlines
Severe cases of COVID-19 are very rare in children, however, the CDC says side-effects from the vaccine for that age group are also rare.
Claudia Espinosa is a pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist and an Associate Professor at the University of South Florida.
"There are not restrictions or mediation methods in the school, and so we all want our kids to be safer and so this is part of it," said Espinosa. "This is part of the package to send them healthier to school. But there are some other parents that are going to be more hesitant to get the vaccination and so we aren't surprised about this response, definitely."
Counties in the Tampa Bay area are still opening new vaccination sites for 5-11 year olds, the latest of them in Polk County.
Polk County Schools is hosting two vaccination events at it's schools this week.
Ridge Community High School in Davenport will offer vaccines for kids 5 and up from 2:30pm to 6:30pm.
Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland will offer vaccines on Thursday between 2:30pm and 6:30pm.
Locally there have been no reported outbreaks of COVID-19 at Elementary Schools in the current school year.
Right now, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Florida is in a steady decline, down to 2.5% last week.