Rich Williams is back at it, administering vaccines to the community.

The nursing director at Upstate Family Health Center was providing booster shots to the community at a Whitesboro clinic on Wednesday.

Soon, he and the crew at Upstate Family Health Center will be administering vaccines to children.

What You Need To Know

  • The CDC approved the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5-11

  • Centers are preparing to administer the vaccine

  • The Upstate Family Health Center is awaiting state guidance

“We did get our first shipment yesterday of the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds. We are still waiting for guidance to come down from the state,” he said.

Dr. Joseph Domachowske is a pediatrics professor at Upstate Medical University and the lead for the local Pfizer clinical vaccine trial for children. He says for every two children who got the active vaccine, one would get a placebo.

“We enrolled almost 100 kids locally, and some of the parents would come in and say, ‘I know they didn’t get the vaccine. They got placebo because they didn’t have any side effects at all.’ I said, ‘Well, hold on. We know that two-thirds of them did.’ And that’s what most of the parents are telling me, so I know that most of the kids without side effects at all got the vaccine itself,” said  Domachowske.

He recommends the vaccine for children to help protect themselves and prevent spreading the virus to other populations.

Domachowske says there’s another benefit: Kids aren’t infected, aren’t at risk for developing a post-infectious multi-system inflammatory syndrome. It requires hospitalization for aggressive treatment.

“Sometimes, the kids that come in with the post-infectious inflammatory problem, their parents never even knew they were sick with a respiratory infection,” Domachowske said.

Many pharmacies, including those at CVS and Walgreens, will be offering the vaccines for children. Upstate Family Health Center will be providing vaccines once they receive state guidance.