Whiteside County Health Department to start COVID vaccine for kids 5-11 on Friday

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Walgreens said it will begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to 5- to 11-year-olds nationwide on Saturday. (Walgreens)

Following the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in children age 5 through 11 on October 29th and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for use issued on November 2nd, the Whiteside County Health Department (WCHD) will begin administering the vaccine (approved for children age 5-11) this Friday by appointment only.

Children will still require two of the age-appropriate doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, at least 21 days apart, before being considered fully vaccinated.

Individuals can schedule an appointment, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. online HERE, by visiting vaccines.gov (and finding the WCHD’s listing by searching for Pfizer vaccine), by calling the National COVID-19 vaccination assistance hotline at 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 888-720-7489) or on WCHD social media.

As with all vaccinations among individuals under 18, a guardian will need to be present to authorize vaccine administration. To help facilitate this, WCHD will be offering additional Pediatric ONLY vaccine appointments on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Individuals can sign up through the registration link above, through vaccines.gov, or through links on our social media and choose the later times.

CDC reminds individuals that during a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold and that vaccination along with other preventative measures, can help reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long term COVID-19 complications.

COVID-19 vaccines have undergone – and will continue to undergo – the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Getting children vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19, as well as reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission. 

The department anticipates the vaccination rollout to mirror previous vaccine rollouts. Initially, there may be  fewer providers and appointments available, however we expect an increase in availability and providers in the coming weeks. People should routinely check vaccines.gov and WCHD social media to find vaccine options near them and speak with their child’s primary care provider if they have questions or concerns.

For more information on CDC’s recommendations for vaccination among children and teens, visit the CDC website.

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