Memorial Drive-Thru Lab on South Sixth began offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster to 5-year-old children and older following its recent approval by federal agencies.
Children should receive a booster dose at least five months after completing the primary shots in the two-dose regimen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a COVID-19 booster for children from 5 to 11 years old in May. The CDC recommendation followed the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization a few days earlier, which found healthy children in that age group had a safe and strong immune response to the booster.
COVID-19 is more dangerous to adults than children, but young children can get severely ill. The CDC reported that 1,538 children who are 17 and younger have died from COVID-19, and 364 of them were from 5 to 11 years old. Health experts agree that vaccinations offer strong protection against the worst outcomes of the virus, including hospitalization and death.
A parent or guardian must be available in person or by phone to provide consent. Children do not need to be current patients of Memorial Care or other Memorial Health organizations to receive the booster. Appointments may be scheduled regardless of where the child lives.
To schedule an appointment, visit vaccination.mhsil.com. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free regardless of insurance or immigration status. The lab is at 2950 S. Sixth St.
Clinicians at the Memorial drive-thru facility began administering the primary vaccine shots to 5- to 11-year-olds on Nov. 19, 2021.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an independent group of experts that advise the CDC, voted Nov. 2, 2021, to recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for elementary school-age children. In addition to the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics has also expressed support for vaccinating young children against COVID-19.