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VALDOSTA — Children ages 5-11 can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Georgia Department of Public Health reports.

Statewide, the GDPH will offer the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine starting Nov. 7.

These shots will be given in a two-dose series taken three weeks apart and is one-third the dose of those given to the adolescent and adult age groups.

Clinical trials showed the pediatric vaccine was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19, according to the health department. Trials also showed mild and temporary side effects, the most common being a sore arm, health officials stated.

According to GDPH data, there are 987,000 children aged 5-11 that are eligible for the vaccine.

South Georgia Medical Center and Lowndes County reported a total of four virus-related deaths since Tuesday.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients stayed below 10.

SGMC reported only nine hospitalized COVID-19 patients Friday; the same number was reported Tuesday.

One death was reported Friday, increasing the count to 443 virus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Not all SGMC patients are Lowndes County residents. 

The county has reported 225 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the GDPH.

Lowndes County has reported 11,007 virus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the GDPH.

There have been 10,300 antigen positive cases reported in Lowndes and 88 probable deaths since the pandemic began, according to the report.

SGMC reported that 51 is the average age of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 57 is the average age for ventilated patients, according to data taken between Oct. 22-28.

Other data provided by the hospital included 89% of the nine hospitalized patients were unvaccinated. Ninety-seven percent of the ventilated patients are unvaccinated.

SGMC has released 2,331 patients who were diagnosed with the virus since the start of the pandemic.

SGMC has reported 44,240 vaccinations administered.

Parents or guardians can schedule a vaccination appointment for their children or learn more about the vaccine at southhealthdistrict.com or by calling the GDPH South District at (229) 333-5290.

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