SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA (KMHL) – Avera Health says it is ready to begin offering the vaccine to children ages 5-11.

In a press release, Avera said the vaccine has been tested by the FDA and is safe for children of that age group. Avera notes during a clinical trial, the vaccine was found to be 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in 4,700 children ages 5 through 11.

“This approval is an important step in protecting our entire population from COVID-19,” said Dr. David Basel, Vice President for Avera Medical Group Quality. “Young children can and do experience serious illness due to COVID. With the Delta variant we have seen children as young as 1 be diagnosed or admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. We’re also seeing children with long-haul symptoms, even after milder infection.”

Avera notes that no serious side effects were found for children, the most common side effects were mild to moderate and went away in one to two days.

Avera says the most serious side effects included sore arm, redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle and/or joint pain, chills and/or fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and decreased appetite.