Approximately 42,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Santa Barbara County are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review have all authorized or recommended the vaccine for the younger age group over the past several days.

The dosage of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for younger children is one-third of the dosage that individuals over the age of 12 have been receiving, with 10 micrograms of mRNA instead of 30 micrograms. 

According to Pfizer’s clinical trials, its COVID-19 vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5 through 11. Mild side effects, similar to those in adults, were also found, with a sore arm being the most commonly reported. 

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said that local distribution of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine has already begun, and full-scale availability is expected to begin the week of Nov. 8, as shipments of the kid-sized vaccine doses arrive.

“Protecting our children has been a community priority throughout the pandemic,” Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso said. “We are elated to now offer them the protection of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine.”

The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine will be available in pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, and through other targeted community events.

On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 50 new cases of novel coronavirus throughout the county and two COVID-19-related deaths.

Both deaths were of individuals who had underlying medical conditions and resided in Santa Barbara and Mission Canyon. One of the individuals was over the age of 70, while the other was in the 50 to 69 age range.

According to the county’s Community Data Dashboard, 42 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with 11 of those patients being treated in intensive-care units.

Of the 50 cases reported Wednesday, 23 were in the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Barbara reported nine new cases. The Goleta Valley logged six new cases while both the Lompoc Valley and Santa Ynez Valley reported four cases each. The Montecito-Summerland-Carpinteria area accounted for three new COVID-19 cases and one case was pending geographic location.

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Serena Guentz, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at