5-year-olds soon have to show vaccine cards in San Francisco

Clarendon Alternative Elementary School student Haruki Ishiyama is working on his computer in San Francisco on Thursday, February 18, 2021. | Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

OAKLAND – San Francisco will soon require children 5 and older to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor public spaces such as restaurants, entertainment venues and sporting events, public health officials said this week.

The local mandate Children and adults aged 12 and over must present proof of vaccination before entering these locations. Now the city’s health authorities are planning to extend the health ordinance to children aged 5 to 11 who are new to the syringe.

San Francisco health officer Susan Philip said the requirement won’t go into effect for at least two months.

“We definitely want to wait and make sure children have the opportunity to get vaccinated so that it doesn’t happen until eight weeks after the child vaccine is available,” said Philip at a citizens’ meeting Tuesday about youth vaccinations.

In California, vaccinations for the younger age group began on Wednesday. On the same day, West Coast scientific experts announced they had given the go-ahead the use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5-11 – and the day after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the child-sized dose. The pediatric vaccine is one third of the adult dose and, like the adult formulation, is given in two doses 21 days apart.

Officials with the San Francisco Department of Public Health confirmed the plan Wednesday, saying that the city’s current vaccination and masking requirements will be re-examined once the younger children have ample time to be vaccinated.

“As with children between the ages of 12 and 17 who may not have an ID card, we will take the same approach with the younger children so that they are not punished for not having an ID card,” a department spokesman wrote in an E- Mail.

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