Houston Health Department begins administering COVID-19 vaccines to children 5 and older

Here’s where kids 5 and older can get the COVID-19 vaccine

HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department will begin Friday vaccinating children as young as five against COVID-19. Medical staff at La Nueva Casa de Amigos Health Center will get things underway administering shots in the arms of the children.

Free vaccinations are available at the department’s health centers, some multi-service centers, and pop-up sites across Houston. The sites do not require appointments or insurance.

Vaccines will be available at thousands of pediatric healthcare provider offices, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and more as the rollout ramps up over the coming days.

Getting children vaccinated will help protect them from getting COVID-19 and reduce their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long-term COVID-19 complications.

“This is another huge milestone in the fight to save more lives from this deadly virus and overcome the pandemic,” said Dr. David Persse, chief medical officer for the City of Houston. “While children generally recover from COVID-19, some get sick enough to require hospitalization and suffer long-term health consequences. By reducing COVID-19 cases among children, there will be fewer disruptions to in-person learning and increased protection for the community.”

On Tuesday evening, the CDC authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 following FDA evaluation of clinical trial data demonstrating the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness for the age group.

Data show the vaccine is over 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5-11.

Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is one-third the dose as the adult dosage and administered in two shots at least three weeks apart.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, children may have side effects such as a sore arm, headache, and fatigue. These mild side effects are normal signs their body is building protection and should go away in a few days.

“It’s natural for parents to have questions and concerns about the health and well-being of their children,” said Dr. Persse. “We encourage parents to speak with their child’s doctor about how COVID-19 vaccines have the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.”

Vaccination of children at health department sites requires parental consent, available at the time of vaccination.

The department’s pop-up sites frequently include schools, and it will expand school partnerships with the rollout of the vaccine for the 5-11 age group.

Visit houstonhealth.org or call 832-393-4220 to find a nearby free vaccination site or schedule an appointment.

About the Author:

Mother of two. Award-winning lover of digital storytelling, sparked by my fascination of being a fashionable gossip like my favorite "Willona Woods" character from "Good Times." On the serious side, president of the Houston Association of Black Journalists and dedicated community servant. Happy to share the news with you each and every day!