Pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations begin in Shelby County

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 4:45 AM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 4:48 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s being called a turning point in the pandemic. Beginning Wednesday, children ages 5-11 can roll up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine at the Shelby County Health Department.

In just a few hours children can get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine inside the immunization clinic at the Shelby County Health Department.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health says the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will be widely available across the state in the coming days at all local health departments.

Dr. Nehali Patel, associate member of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, was involved in the Pfizer trial in the Memphis area.

He says it’s important for parents to know both the FDA and CDC voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the vaccine for children 5 to 11.

“And they did look very carefully at all the safety data, and they are screened to be objective reviewers, and so that’s a pretty great statement in terms of the benefit to risk ratio,” said Patel.

St. Jude was one of a hundred sites across the country participating in the child vaccine trial.

The child-size vaccines are given in two low dose shots, three weeks apart, with a smaller needle.

Parents can take their children to get vaccinated at the health department’s immunization clinic on Jefferson Avenue from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The health department asks that parents/legal guardians accompany children and be sure to have documentation of the child’s birth date like a birth certificate, or shot records.

Vaccinations for children ages 5-11 will not be available at any drive-thru locations. Children 12 and up can continue visiting drive-thru locations for their vaccinations

The vaccinations are free and no appointments are necessary.

You can, however, make an appointment at local pharmacies which will begin administering shots this weekend.

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