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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2021
Contact: County Executive Office (845) 638-5122
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

PFIZER COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE TO AGES 5 YEARS AND UP AT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT

NEW CITY, NY, - The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) announces Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now available to children ages 5 to 11. On November 2, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the FDA emergency use of the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. The pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or the development of long-term COVID-19 complications. The pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is considered a new product with different packaging and is a lower dose (1/3rd of the dose) than the one used for people ages 12 years and older.

Upcoming RCDOH COVID-19 vaccination clinics that will offer Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric doses for 5- to 11-year-olds are:

Robert L. Yeager Health Center, Building A (50 Sanatorium Road, Pomona 10970)

  • Thursday, November 18, from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm (ages 5-11 only)

Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center (110 Bethune Blvd, Spring Valley 10977)

  • Monday, November 22, from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm (ages 5+)

To make an appointment at an RCDOH clinic, visit http://rcklnd.us/covid19. Appointments are strongly encouraged. You may walk into any clinic without an appointment, but you may need to wait. You will be given an appointment for your child's second dose at the time of the first dose. The Pfizer-BioNTech (ages 5+) vaccine requires your child to get a second dose 21 days/3 weeks after the first. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose amount is based on the child's age at the time of the shot. For children who are 11 years old turning 12, the current guidance is not to wait. Get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Any child ages 5 – 17 receiving the vaccine must arrive with a parent or guardian who will sign a consent form. The parent or guardian must show some form of personal identification, such as a driver's license. If you have health insurance, please bring your benefit card with you. The vaccine is free; however, the Health Department can collect an administrative fee from insurance plans. All are welcome regardless of immigration status. Children 5+ are currently eligible to receive only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Children younger than 5 are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine at this time.

Since the start of the pandemic, about 1.9 million children ages 5-11 have been infected, accounting for about 10.6% of all U.S. cases by the week of October 10, 2021. More than 8,300 have been hospitalized, and 94 have died, according to CDC data. The death toll in the past year puts COVID-19 in the top 10 causes of death for this age group. The pandemic also has taken a toll on children's education and their mental health.

"The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine also uses mRNA technology which continues to prove to be safe and effective. Millions of adolescents ages 12-17 have been safely vaccinated, and we know vaccines work. Fully vaccinated individuals are 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and have a high degree of protection, including against the Delta variant. The consequences of a pediatric COVID-19 case can be serious and potentially last months or longer. The COVID-19 pediatric vaccine is another important public health tool against the spread of COVID-19. I urge all eligible school-aged children and adults to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help keep children from missing day-to-day classroom experiences while protecting the health of students, teachers, staff in our schools, and vulnerable family members," said County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine is available at other locations; check with your child's health care provider or visit the New York State Am I Eligible webpage or Vaccines.gov to find a vaccine near you. You can also check your local pharmacy's website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available. For more information or if you need assistance scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, call 845-238-1956 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday (except holidays).

For any concerns, talk to your child's pediatrician. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children, visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/planning/children.html and https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccines-children-and-adolescents.