By Royce Jones

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – UPMC scheduled over 10,000 vaccine appointments for kids as young as 5 within one day of the CDC authorizing Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot.

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Most will be given at pediatrician’s offices, but UPMC is working to set up clinics at schools and community events.

The vaccines are crucial to making kids’ lives normal again, said UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics President Dr. Alejandro Hoberman.

“They need the sporting events. They need their friends. They need the activities, the learning, the birthday parties and time with their grandparents — all essential in their development,” said Hoberman.

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UPMC also addressed the Pfizer vaccine itself, which is one-third of the adult vaccine. Leaders wanted to ensure parents that the vaccine is safe, effective and well studied.

UPMC spoke about one common concern people often read about: myocarditis. Doctors explained it’s an extremely rare side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Hoberman said myocarditis actually happens to be more common and severe among people who come down with the virus rather than the vaccine.