The FDA has approved a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11—just in time for the holidays!
The holiday season is usually a time for family and friends to gather and share food and fun. For the past year and a half, however, the pandemic has taken its toll on these types of festivities. Experts continue to advise caution when it comes to travel and get-togethers this year, particularly with vulnerable or immunocompromised individuals who are at the greatest risk. The best protection we have available is the vaccine. The more people that get vaccinated, the safer all of us will be.
Why vaccinate younger children now?
New reports suggest that a large percentage of new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated children. While most cases among children are mild, some children do suffer from severe forms of the virus and require hospitalization. Even infected children whose symptoms remain mild may have long-term effects from the virus and can spread it to others. Greater vaccination rates help to prevent the emergence of new dangerous strains of the virus, making all of us safer. Vaccination for younger children could also be the beginning of a much-needed return to a more open and relaxed way of life.
According to a recent report, Philadelphia lags behind the nationwide average for vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19. If you have questions about the vaccine, you’re not alone. Many parents and caregivers are concerned about the safety and efficacy of this newly approved vaccine.
Not sure how to talk about the vaccine with children?
This guide from the City of Philadelphia provides answers to some of the questions you and your child may have. You can find more detailed answers to your own questions online about vaccine timing, safety, and effectiveness.
Where can children receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
In Philadelphia, vaccines for children will be available at any City-run community clinic, most pharmacies, and health centers. If you are already vaccinated, you can get your own booster shot at the same time! Children's vaccines will also be available at many pediatrician’s offices. Caregivers may want to call their child’s pediatrician to ask about vaccine availability before making an appointment. Learn more about getting children vaccinated, and for the most up-to-date information, visit phila.gov/vaccine.
The Free Library's Youth Services department wishes you a healthy and happy holiday season!