MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Vaccinating kids ages five through eleven is a major step in the fight against COVID-19. The CDC gave final approval to the vaccine doses for children ages 5 to 11 Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
Here are answers to common questions parents have about getting their kids vaccinated.
Where can my child get vaccinated?
So let's get to number 1: where can my child get vaccinated? Well, families do have a lot of options. They can go to clinics, pharmacies, or your child's pediatrician.
The Shelby County Health Department began offering the kid-sized doses last week on a walk-in basis at its Immunization Clinic at 814 Jefferson Avenue. They said they will offer special extended hours from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for vaccinations for ages 5 to 11 several days per week in November.
The Immunization Clinic will accept children and their parents on a walk-in basis until 7:30 p.m. in the evenings on the following dates:
- Week of November 8, 2021: Monday-Wednesday, November 8-10, 2021; and Friday, November 12, 2021.
- Week of November 15, 2021: Monday-Thursday, November 15-18, 2021.
- Week of November 22, 2021: Monday-Wednesday, November 22-24,2021.
- Week of November 29, 2021: Monday-Tuesday, November 29 and 30, 2021.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with documentation of the child’s birth date (birth certificate or shot record is okay). Parents or guardians who have not been vaccinated can get theirs when the child does as well.
The Shelby County Immunization Clinic also offers Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children age 12-17 and adults 18 and older; Moderna vaccines for adults 18 and older; and Johnson and Johnson vaccines for adults 18 and older.
Pediatric vaccinations (ages 5-11) WILL NOT be administered at drive-thru locations for now. Children 12 and up will continue to be vaccinated at drive-thru locations.
The Mississippi State Department of Health began COVID-19 vaccinations for children 5 to 11-years-old Monday, November 8th.
Appointments are available at https://covidvaccine.umc.edu/ for all county health departments. Appointments can also be made by calling the COVID-19 hotline at 866-498-4948 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Vaccinations for all Mississippians 5 and older can also be found from other providers including healthcare providers, FQHC’s, independent and retail pharmacies.
The Arkansas Department of Health said its Local Health Units (LHU) are providing pediatric vaccinations. There will be at least one LHU in every county.
What is the difference between the adult vaccine and the child’s vaccine?
The main difference is dosage. The kid's vaccine is about a third of the adult vaccine, and the timeline is pretty different too. You need two dosages for the children, three weeks apart.
Can my child get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?
Yes. It is safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine along with any other routine vaccine, including the flu vaccine.
When COVID-19 vaccines first became available, experts had suggested that people not get other vaccines at the same time. Instead, they recommended getting them either two weeks before or after the COVID-19 vaccine. But now that millions of people have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine (including children), it’s clear that they’re safe and effective when given with other vaccines.
Does my child need a doctor's note?
No, your child does not need a doctor's note. This process is very similar to when adults got their shot or when kids get their other routine vaccines.
Does my child still need to wear a mask after they are fully vaccinated?
Masks are an extra layer of protection, and the CDC recommends children still wear a mask since people are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after their second dose.