OAKLAND, Calif. - Santa Clara County began vaccinating kids on Wednesday, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine for 28 million children ages 5 and 11.
But most of their online appointments are already booked.
Walgreens and CVS updated their online appointment sites Wednesday morning, but most of their Bay Area appointments are booked through the middle of this month.
And some Kaiser members have already gotten notice that they can start booking appointments Thursday morning.
Local pediatricians offices have also been shipped doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The head of East Bay Pediatrics says her practice received 300 doses to start. But they have 3,000 patients in that 5 to 11 age group.
Demand for the kids COVID vaccine is expected to be high in the Bay Area. And pediatricians are urging patience – because there will be plenty of doses to go around.
"We also want to reassure families, we will get your child vaccinated by the end of the year," said Dr. Christina Vo, of East Bay Pediatrics.
Eitan Weinberger, 11, and his younger brother were among the first to roll up their sleeves on Wednesday and get vaccinated.
"I want to be vaccinated," Eitan said.
His mother, Beverly, said vaccinating her children "just adds an extra sense of relief and we feel protected to move forward in a really positive way."
County health officials are also working with many school districts to offer vaccination clinics at school sites.
The first of several are already planned for this weekend in Marin County.
Contra Costa County's Health Department says it is getting 20,000 pediatric doses to administer at for their clinics on Saturday.
Alameda County Office of Education, Alameda County Public Health and school districts in San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Newark, New Haven, Oakland, Fremont, Livermore, Emeryville have planned to set up stationary and mobile vaccination clinics for students in the 5-11 year old age group.
The county considered those the "highest need districts" because of their vaccine rates and COVID case rates.
"We want to make sure that the spaces created in schools are open to people who don't have easy access to a pediatrician," said Michelle Smith McDonald, communications director with the Alameda County Office of Education. "As more of our kids get vaxxed, I think the school year can settle into something more resembling normal."
A Weinberger child gets vaccinated at East Bay Pediatrics. He and his brother, Eitan, 11, were among the first Bay Area children in this age group to get the Pfizer vaccine.
A child gets vaccinated at Kaiser. Nov. 3, 2021