KCHD offers COVID-19 vaccines for children

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Courtesy Kent County Health Department

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is available at all Kent County Health Department (KCHD) locations for children ages 5-11.

KCHD now is taking appointments for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for this age group and will extend clinic hours at all three KCHD locations from 8-11:45 a.m. and from 12:45-6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and Tuesday, Nov. 16. Full hours of operation and clinic locations are on the health department’s website. Appointments can be made by calling (616) 632-7200.

Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the vaccine appointment, or an attestation form must be sent with an adult who is at least 18 years old stating they’re legally allowed to sign on behalf of any minor receiving the vaccine. Adults accompanying minors for the appointment also should be familiar with the child’s medical history.

Similarly to the adult version of the vaccine, the vaccine approved for children will require two doses over the course of at least three weeks. For this age group, the dose will be about one-third of the size of the adult vaccine, will have different packaging and is likely to have a smaller needle.

“We are tremendously excited to be able to provide this next wave of vaccines to younger children,” said Mary Wisinski, KCHD immunizations supervisor. “We have seen an increase in the number of children being infected with COVID-19 since this summer. This vaccine not only protects them, but it will help slow the transmission of the disease in our community. Vaccinating just one child has the potential to save many lives.”

The announcement came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention granted emergency use authorization to the COVID vaccine developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech for children ages 5-11. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine so far is the only vaccine approved for this age group.

In clinical testing trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5-11. The ongoing study showed the vaccine also is safe with no serious side effects occurring for the 3,100 children who received the vaccine.

KCHD also has addressed many frequently asked questions about the vaccine for this age group in a video, which can be viewed here.

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