DVIDS – News – LRMC begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11

LANDSTUHL, Germany – The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, America’s largest overseas hospital, has started COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5-11, becoming one of the first treatment facilities military abroad to vaccinate this patient population on November 18.

COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 began in the United States on November 3, following the arrival of vaccines at military installations in Europe, eligible American citizens abroad are now seen widely offer the possibility of vaccinating their 5 to 11 year olds. years with the COVID-19 vaccine at different facilities across Europe.

“We are delighted to extend protection against COVID-19 to this population,” said U.S. Army Col. Andrew Landers, commanding officer of the hospital. “Today marks a critical step towards defending the health and well-being of joint combatants, their families, civilians (of the Ministry of Defense) abroad and the protection of communities in our host country. here in Germany too. “

Following the announcement of the events of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine at LRMC, appointments have almost reached capacity, but hospital officials plan to continue offering the vaccine to parents of children who want it. Further vaccination events are expected to be announced as demand continues.

“Today is a great day for Europe and the children of our community,” said US Army Col. Sean Dooley, pulmonary intensive care physician at LRMC. “This is a particularly important day for (our military community) as we have had several epidemics (COVID-19) in our schools, which can affect adult populations.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old is given as a primary series in two doses, 3 weeks apart, but at a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used. for people 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

For Yetta Lewis, military wife and mother of two, the pediatric vaccine offers her and her seven-year-old son Victor a sigh of relief as they bring the family closer to the full immunization.

“We feel very fortunate that he is available for him,” said Lewis. “I think vaccination saves lives, it prevents the spread of the virus. “

While Lewis and his family are excited to travel across Europe with limited restrictions, once fully immunized, they also look forward to spending time with friends and family at home.

“We want to spend time with our family members, especially their grandparents,” Lewis said. “They miss their grandchildren and it’s time to get Thanksgiving and Christmas together. “

“I got the vaccine to be with my friends,” added Victor, one of the first children to receive the initial dose of the vaccine at LRMC.
Although no vaccine protects 100%, vaccinations against COVID-19 have been shown to be effective in preventing COVID-19 and becoming ill or seriously ill from the disease, according to the CDC. What’s more, new studies show that when COVID-19 is contracted in vaccinated people, they are likely to be less contagious than unvaccinated people, thereby reducing the spread of the disease overall.

“We would expect this to be the case in the pediatric population as well, the greater the percentage of the total population, adults and children, that are vaccinated against this virus, the more it may help slow the spread,” Dooley said. “I have seen a lot of heartache, I have seen this disease tear families apart and prematurely remove fathers and sons, mothers and daughters from their loved ones. Seeing this happening in the intensive care unit and feeling helpless for the first time in almost 20 years of intensive care medicine motivates me to be here.

Additionally, Dooley notes that the potential for the spread of COVID-19 is higher in young children due to the close contact required for direct care.

To ensure the safety and comfort of pediatric patients, LRMC staff have undergone additional training to familiarize non-pediatric staff with the best vaccination practices for this specific population. Healthcare professionals assigned to the hospital’s pediatric clinic have also stepped up vaccination efforts to further increase patient safety. LRMC staff were joined by medical professionals from the 86th Medical Group, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

LRMC is expected to hold more immunization clinics in November and December, offering the immunization to all eligible children in the larger U.S. military community outside of the United States.

The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, is the only advanced medical center for U.S. and coalition forces, State Department personnel, and returnee U.S. citizens. LRMC is the largest US hospital outside of the United States where it serves as the sole military medical center for more than 205,000 beneficiaries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The jointly staffed hospital offers more than 52 medical specialties and is the only American College of Surgeons verified Level II trauma center outside of the United States.

Date taken: 19.11.2021
Date posted: 19.11.2021 10:42
Story ID: 409687
Site: LANDSTUHL, RP, DE

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