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The FDA’s approval came down last week to administer Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to children ages 5 to 11. But parents can’t necessarily take their children to the same vax clinics where they were immunized.
“Pediatric vaccines are different than the adult vaccines,” said Department of Health spokesperson Jim Garrow. “So the places that have the ability to offer them differ.”
Philadelphia has already ordered tens of thousands of kid-size doses, and officials plan to snag more as they become available. Garrow said health centers and pediatricians should be actively reaching out to their patients right now to schedule patients’ first doses.
“If you’re waiting for your pediatrician to set up an appointment and are getting nervous about how long it’s taking, there are plenty of clinics and pharmacies very willing to administer the pediatric vaccine as soon as possible,” Garrow said.
The Health Department and the School District are planning youth vax clinics, Garrow said, and pharmacies are offering children’s doses, too. In the coming weeks, the health department will start reporting vax rates for young children along with its regular data updates.
“Getting our children vaccinated is a big step toward getting back to normal and we simply cannot delay,” Garrow said. “The health department is actively working to streamline the process to find pediatric vaccines.”
Meantime, here’s a guide to where you can get your youngsters vaccinated:
Your pediatrician’s office (probably)
At this point, Garrow said the “vast majority” of pediatrician’s offices in Philadelphia have already registered to offer the COVID vaccine — so call up your kid’s doctor to find out if they’re good to go.
Garrow hopes the rest of the city’s pediatricians will be ready to administer them soon.
“We continue to reach out to them to encourage them to become providers,” the health department spokesperson said. “If they want to administer pediatric doses, we’d be only too excited to provide them as long as they have the capacity to do so.”
CHOP, if you’re already a patient
Speaking of pediatricians: If your child is already a regular patient at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, you can get them vaccinated at any of CHOP’s primary care locations.
You can even sign up for an appointment online.
Some health department clinics
Not all existing vax sites can administer doses to children. To figure out which city health clinics ones do offer kids’ doses, search the online vaccine portal and filter the results by “children.”
Right now, several upcoming pop-ups are offering kids’ doses, including:
- Grand Yesha Ballroom at 23rd and Snyder on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
- Salvation Army at 55th and Market on Friday, Nov. 12 from noon to 6 p.m.
- Global Leadership Academy at 46th and Girard on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 10 to 11:45 a.m.
The health department is working on a way to present this info in calendar format, Garrow said.
Pop-ups at Philly public schools
There are multiple kids’ vaccine clinics scheduled at Philadelphia public schools in the next month. Some are for ages 5 and up, and some for ages 12 and up. These include:
- Bartram High School near 67th and Elmwood on Friday, Nov. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. (ages 12 and up)
- West Philadelphia High School at 49th and Chestnut on Saturday, Nov. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. (ages 5 and up)
- Lamberton Elementary School in Overbrook Park on Wednesday, Nov. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. (ages 5 and up)
- Penrose Elementary School in Southwest Philly on Monday, Nov. 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ages 5 and up)
The usual national pharmacies
Most big pharmacy chains have already received direct shipments of children’s doses from the federal government, Garrow said, including locations in Philadelphia.
You can search for and schedule kid appointments online:
Some pharmacy locations may also accept walk-ins, but it’s not guaranteed every store will offer pediatric doses, so it’s best to check in advance.