The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announces that children 5-11 years old are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart for full protection, and is the first and only vaccine currently available for this age group.
“The pandemic has been tough on everyone, but I know it has been especially hard for our kids,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Now with a COVID-19 vaccine available to nearly all school-aged children, we can do more to protect our kids from this virus. Whether they are at school, playing with their friends, or spending time with family, vaccinating your kids means they can do the things they love while also staying safe and healthy.”
After successful clinical trials and a rigorous review of all available data, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s request to expand the emergency use authorization to include children ages 5-11 on Oct. 29.
On Nov. 2, the CDC Director officially confirmed the vaccine is safe and recommended the vaccine to this age group.
“Our nation’s leading medical experts have reviewed the available data and confirmed that the Pfizer vaccine is safe for children 5 to 11 years of age,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake.
Disease activity remains very high across Wisconsin, according to state health officials.
Children and youth under 18 continue to represent the highest number of new confirmed cases compared to other age groups.
COVID-19, particularly the delta variant, can have a serious impact on a child’s health.
Infection with the Delta variant has resulted in nearly three times the number of children in the hospital in the U.S. since early summer.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1,600 Wisconsinites under 20 years old have been hospitalized with COVID-19, the DHS reports.
Vaccination is a safe and critical tool in both combating further COVID-19 illness among children and stopping the spread in our communities.
Parents and guardians of children ages 5-11 can schedule a vaccination using a variety of options, including with their health care provider, at community-based vaccination clinics, local and tribal health departments, or pharmacies.
To locate a provider administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, visit Vaccines.gov. Parents and guardians can learn more by calling 844-684-1064 toll-free.
Local clinics offered
Meanwhile, in Kenosha County, Public Health announced a series a children’s vaccination clinics beginning Thursday, Nov. 11.
Dr. Jen Freihet, Health Officer, said these clinics are available to the general public, although people are encouraged to access COVID-19 vaccination for their children through their health care provider, if possible.
“With these clinics, we want to make sure the vaccine is available to everyone in the community, particularly those who may have a barrier to getting to a pediatrician’s office,” Freiheit said. “While we’re open to all in Kenosha County, we don’t want to take away an opportunity for kids and parents to have a visit with their provider.”
The Kenosha County vaccination clinics will be held in the Job Center, 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha.
On Friday, Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. until noon, the Job Center will host the second vaccination clinic for children.
Other vaccination clinic dates include 9 a.m. until noon on Friday, Nov. 19 with the second-dose clinic set for Friday, Dec. 10 from 4 until 7 p.m.
COVID-19 vaccinations for adults and kids 12 and older will also be available at these clinics.
Parents in need of a booster shot or their first or second dose of one of the vaccines may receive it alongside their children, Freiheit said.
All three vaccine varieties will be available for people 18 and older.
For those who cannot make it to one of the clinics, a limited number of vaccination appointments for anyone ages 5 and up are available at the Kenosha County Public Health.
A list of other local vaccine providers and links to their appointment systems is available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub webpage, at www.kenoshacounty.org/covid19.