With the decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to approve COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 to 11, Governor Phil Scott, the Agency of Human Services and the Department of Health announced that, starting at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 3, parents and caregivers can register their eligible children to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“Today’s approval is an enormous step forward and a significant opportunity for parents and caregivers to help their kids and communities,” said Governor Scott. “Vaccinating Vermont’s youth will have a significant impact on our efforts to move past this pandemic, and we need parents to take advantage of this safe, free and effective way to protect their children. Vermonters have shown the nation how it’s done from the start. I’m confident we’ll do it again.”
Families will be able to make appointments for state-run sites through the Vermont registration system. With support from EMS and other health care partners, the Health Department has also arranged for clinics in nearly 100 schools across the state over a six-week period, which began on Monday, November 8. In addition to these, families can get vaccinated at pharmacies or some pediatrician’s offices and family practices.
Appointments for both the school-based and state-run clinics can be made at healthvermont.gov/KidsVaccine or by calling 855-722-7878. Families may need to add their child as a dependent in the registration system.
“Our goal is to get as many doses as possible into students’ arms before the holiday break at the end of December,” said Human Services Secretary Mike Smith. “Many of our school clinics are in places where there are fewer pharmacies or other ways to get the vaccine. We’ve also set up in areas where we know families may struggle with transportation.”
Vermont expects to receive 6,000 pediatric doses by November 2, and a total of 23,400 doses for children by the end of the week. Of that amount, the 15,900 doses will be for the state-run clinics. The remaining 7,500 will be allocated to pharmacies and health care partners. More doses are expected to become available after the initial allocation.
Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD applauded the work of the FDA, CDC and their scientific committees, and the decision to open vaccination to these children. “Over 414 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States, and it was done under the most intense safety monitoring in history,” said Dr. Levine.
Dr. Levine said the data continues to show vaccines are safe and working very well against the most severe outcomes, including the risk of long-term effects of COVID, which can affect children as well as adults.
“If you are a parent or caregiver, I hope you’ll think about all the benefits this vaccine can have for your child, and I encourage you to talk to your pediatrician or your own doctor if you have any questions.” Dr. Levine added that “not only is the vaccine protection from COVID-19 itself, but it offers freedom from the worry that we’ve all had these past two years. It also means more freedom for Vermont kids to be kids – to see friends and family, travel and stay in school.”
Officials also reminded Vermonters to get vaccinated and when eligible, to get their booster shots as soon as possible, and to follow the guidance to protect yourself and others.
For more information about COVID-19, vaccines and testing, please visit healthvemont.gov/covid-19.