PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island announced that it is expecting a shipment of 9,900 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5 to 11 years old on Wednesday, just hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccination for children in this age group with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
Some parents were already able to secure appointments for their kids in the state, as 900 doses of the vaccine for children have arrived in Rhode Island so far. As many as 10,000 more doses are expected in the coming days.
“This vaccine has been studied and monitored very carefully. It is safe, and it works. If there is a child who is between 5 and 11 years old in your household, get that child vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, the director of the state health department on Wednesday.
The news comes as 83 percent of the state’s adult population 18 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Where can I get my 5-to 11-year old kids vaccinated in Rhode Island?
- School clinics: School districts are partnering with municipalities to offer more than 130 vaccine clinics for first and second doses for children 5 to 11 years old. The clinics will begin starting next week (Nov. 7) and are open to all children, not just those who attend the host schools. However, unless otherwise noted, the vaccine won’t be available at these clinics for older children and adults. Find a list of clinics here.
- Some primary care providers: Many pediatrician and family medicine practices are enrolled as providers of the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode island. Contact your child’s provider directly to see if they are participating in the program.
- The state-run mass vaccination site in Cranston: Appointments for kids 5 to 11 at the Sockanosset Cross Road site will start to become available Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. on VaccinateRI.org. You can also call 844-930-1779 to make an appointment.
- Pharmacies: Appointments are also available at many CVS, Walgreens, Stop and Shop, and Walmart retail pharmacies. Further availability is expected this weekend. Appointments are also available at independent pharmacies in Rhode Island at VaccinateRI.org.
- Health centers: Some health centers are conducting direct outreach to their patients about vaccine availability.
- Community clinics: Additional community clinics for kids 5 to 11 will be scheduled in the upcoming weeks. No additional information has been made public about availability at community clinics in Rhode Island.
Why should I get my 5 - to 11- year old vaccinated?
Children of all ages can contract and become ill with COVID-19. While most kids do not become as sick as adults, some children can still become severely ill, especially if they have underlying conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma. But, also, children can spread COVID-19 to other, sometimes more-vulnerable, people in their households.
To date, 194 children age 14 or younger have been hospitalized in Rhode Island with COVID-19.
Which COVID-19 vaccine can my child get? Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson?
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is the only one that has been authorized for emergency use in children age 5 to 11 at this time. The formula of the vaccine for children is 10 micrograms, compared to an adult dose of 30 micrograms. There is no Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines for children 5 to 11 years old at this time.
How do I know the vaccine is safe for 5-11 year olds?
The Pfizer vaccines have been administered to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The formula of the vaccine for children is a lower dose of 10 micrograms, compared to an adult dose of 30 micrograms. The children’s dose was studied and reviewed before federal health officials authorized its use on Nov. 2.
The vaccine was determined to be 90.7 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 disease in children age 5 to 11. No significant safety issues were identified.
The CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have several systems in place to continually monitor COVID_19 vaccine safety and allow for the rapid detection and investigation of potential safety problems. It’s also mandatory for Pfizer and health care providers to report any serious health issues in people who were vaccinated.
Where can I get more information about the vaccine for 5-11 year old children in Rhode Island?
The Rhode Island state health department is hosting two Facebook Live sessions on Nov. 8 with community pediatricians to help answer parents’ questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. One session will be in English, which will begin at 6 p.m., and the other in Spanish, which will begin at 7 p.m.
Is the vaccine mandatory for kids to go to school?
At this time, Rhode Island does not mandate that school-aged children, teachers, or school staff to be vaccinated in order to attend school. However, most colleges and universities in Rhode Island have required the vaccine for students, faculty, and staff to return to campus.