Allegheny County Health Department Director Urges Parents to Get Children the COVID Vaccine

Pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 5 to 11 could be eligible for shots as early as next week.


Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen says she hopes “demand is robust” after government regulators approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to come as early as next week.

“This really is another important step,” Bogen said during her weekly press briefing. “Getting the vaccine not only protects your children, it contributes to the greater good by protecting the people who encounter your child.

“We know that children are at much lower risk for severe COVID than adults and seniors, but the risk is not zero,” she said.

Bogen says she has spoken with local providers and is “confident that the county’s many vaccine providers will handle this latest vaccine rollout smoothly.”

Bogen says parents and anyone else who might be hesitant to receive a vaccine should consult with their doctors.

The number of cases in Allegheny County remains stagnant.

“Numbers are kind of plateauing and not going down as much as we’d like but certainly not going up, which is good news,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

According to CDC data, Allegheny County has about 188 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of about 6.5% over the last seven days.

One hundred and five people in Allegheny County have died of COVID-19 thus far in October and Bogen predicts that number will likely increase.

“These are mostly preventable deaths,” she said.

A breakdown of October’s deaths by age and vaccination status was not yet available, but statistics from September indicated the majority of deaths involved unvaccinated people. Most deaths among vaccinated people were those 65 and older.

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