The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now authorized for children ages 5-11 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.
Those seeking the COVID-19 vaccine for that age group will have several options throughout Centre County in the coming days and weeks. That includes Centre Volunteers in Medicine, a free medical and dental clinic in Centre County.
Kristi Mattzela, clinical services director for CVIM, said in email the demand for children’s vaccines has been high. The organization’s first clinic for young kids only will take place Saturday.
“Our first clinic day filled in less than 24 hours and we opened up a 3rd large clinic day. We have around 2,000 children scheduled so far,” she wrote on Thursday evening. She anticipates busy clinic days and asks patients to arrive on time for their appointment. People will be on site to direct traffic and assist with parking.
This CVIM clinic is different from ones held for adults, as the vaccination stations will be set up in individual rooms.
“We want to be able to provide compassionate care to this age group and help children and families have a good experience,” Mattzela wrote. “It will also allow us to limit sound in the event children are sad or crying. We hope to have them happy again before they leave the building and will have some activity papers and other things for them to do while they wait their 15 minutes.”
That theme is similar to that of Geisinger. According to a press release from the health system, all vaccine locations will be staffed by pediatric care teams, including pediatric nurses and pediatricians.
“The locations are designed to be as child friendly as possible, with activities available like coloring sheets, stickers and similar items,” the release states.
A press release from Geisinger also states all vaccines for this age group are Pfizer BioNTech and will be a 10-microgram dose, which is one-third of the dose given to those 12 and older.
Local agencies will hold vaccine clinics for children beginning this weekend. Below is a list of local places holding clinics or offering appointment slots.
CVIM will hold free clinics on Saturday and Tuesday at the CVIM facility at 2026 Sandy Drive for children ages 5-11. Register for an appointment online at www.signupgenius.com/go/pediatricvaccine5-11.
Parents and guardians will need to be present while children receive their vaccine.
Appointments will soon be available at Centre County locations, including Geisinger Philipsburg on Tuesday and Geisinger Healthplex State College on Nov. 13. Appointments can be made through MyGeisinger or by calling 570-284-3657.
An appointment is required for each child, and it is requested that only one parent or guardian accompany a child for an appointment.
Appointments at Mount Nittany Health are available by visiting https://mountnittany.org/covid, clicking the “Sign up now” button and completing the form. The pediatric office will contact you with your appointment date and time.
A vaccine clinic will also be held Sunday, Nov. 21 for children of Mount Nittany Physician Group patients. Register by visiting https://mountnittany.org/covid and the practice will contact you with your appointment date and time.
CVS will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11 on Sunday. Appointments can be made online.
This story was originally published November 5, 2021 3:06 PM.