SOLANO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) —  The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health Division announced, in accordance with state and national guidance, is expanding the Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses to individuals ages 5 to 11 years.

The decision comes as the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup unanimously concluded that a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for youth ages 5-11. Parents who are interested in getting their child vaccinated are encouraged to reach out to their provider to schedule well-child visits and get the COVID-19 booster, along with the recommended childhood immunizations.

“Getting a booster dose for COVID-19 provides an extra layer of protection to keep your child safe and healthy,” said Bela T. Matyas, M.D., M.P.H., Solano County Health Officer. “We encourage parents to schedule routine visits with their child’s healthcare provider to get their child’s immunizations up to date and prepare them for the following school year.”

During the pandemic, Solano County has reported a significant decline in well-child visits and immunizations. The “Bee-wise, Immunize!” campaign, which is a collaborative effort that includes Solano County, First 5 Solano, Partnership HealthPlan, Childstart, and Solano County school districts, encourages families to get up to date on routine visits and vaccinations with their child’s primary care provider or community clinic. 

Currently, Solano County is reporting an 83% vaccination rate, with a 34.7% vaccination rate among 5-11 year-olds.

In addition to getting up to date with well-child visits and immunizations, children are required by California law to undergo the Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment (KOHA) by May 31 in either kindergarten or first grade, whichever is their first year in public school.

“Children who are having tooth pain may potentially struggle in school or miss school and end up in the emergency room,” says Tracy Nachand, Oral Health Project Director for Solano Public Health. “It is important to incorporate dental visits as a preventive routine in the life of children to adulthood.”