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The state is hoping to raise vaccination rates for those under 17 and eligible

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Delaware officials are promoting COVID vaccines for children 5-17 and boosters for those 12-17 by trying to dispel misinformation about the vaccines.

The state says while over 70 percent of the overall population has at least one vaccine shot, only 27 percent of children 5-to-11, and 62 percent between the ages of 12-to-17 have received one vaccine shot.

The numbers slip to 20 percent for 5-to-11 year olds who have received two doses, and 55 percent for those between 12-to-17. Only eight percent have a booster.

Statewide, New Castle County is doing best with those between 5 and 17 getting vaccinated with lower rates in the 19801 and 19802 zip codes in Wilmington as well as in Kent and western Sussex counties.

Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay is trying to dispel any misinformation about side effects from the vaccine.

"Serious side effects have been extremely rare and although there has been some concern about myocarditis it's extremely rare in both the 5 to 11-year-old population as well as the 12 to 17-year-old population. All cases for the most part were very mild and self-limiting," said Rattay.

Rattay also seeks to dispel is about the approval process of the children’s COVID vaccine.

"The COVID-19 vaccine that's available for children has gone through the same approval process that's required for other vaccines including our routine childhood vaccines. None of the clinical trial steps were skipped, and no corners were cut when it comes to safety," said Rattay.

Rattay notes there’s no evidence of developmental side effects, no reproductive or fertility issues.

Rattay adds children can get vaccinated at their pediatrician, at DPH Standing Vaccine Sites or clinics (at the Blue Hen Corporate Center in Dover, Georgetown Plaza in Georgetown, Canby Park in Wilmington, and at Oxford/University Plaza in Newark), and at pharmacies.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.