NEWS RELEASE: Washtenaw Health Department to Vaccinate Children, 5-11, Starting Nov. 9
(News release from the Washtenaw County Health Department)
The Washtenaw County Health Department encourages everyone eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for children 5-11 years old, and there is no cost to individuals. The Health Department will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 years and older starting Tues., Nov 9 by appointment. Please remember that COVID-19 vaccine is widely available locally, and parents or guardians should go wherever works best for their family.
“We are very excited to start vaccinating younger children,” says Jimena Loveluck, MSW, health officer for Washtenaw County Health Department. “Vaccination continues to be our best tool for protecting individuals from serious illness and limiting the impact of COVID overall. Combining vaccination with non-medical interventions like masks, distance, and isolation or quarantine, provides as much protection as possible.”
Available appointments for children will be posted at noon on Friday, Nov 5 and Monday, Nov 8 with a scheduling link at www.washtenaw.org/covid19vaccine. If you cannot schedule online, please contact the Health Department at 734-544-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The first appointments will be on Tuesday, Nov 9. There is no waiting list. If you schedule an appointment but get an earlier vaccination elsewhere, please remember to cancel so someone else can use the appointment.
COVID-19 vaccines for children are expected to be widely available. Appointments allow for more accurate timing and appropriate spacing during indoor clinics. Appointments are required for children and young adults under 18 years old, and a parent or guardian must be present for vaccinating minors.
“Importantly, we do not expect vaccine supplies to be limited for our 5 to 11-year old children,” continues Loveluck. “Please be patient with us and other vaccine providers. More and more opportunities for these vaccinations are coming as we and others finalize plans and announce dates.”
Vaccination is the best way to protect against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety and medical experts overwhelmingly support vaccination. Though rates of severe illness have been lower in children compared to adults, children can get still infected, become ill, and spread illness to others. Vaccinating children ages 5-11 will help lower community transmission, reduce the burden of quarantine on families, keep kids in schools, and protect everyone from COVID-19.
Adults may still walk up for boosters or initial doses during clinic hours. Those in need of boosters should consider coming in prior to next Tuesday. Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually not as busy for those that have flexibility about when to come. The Health Department will be closed on Thursday, Nov 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.
A Spanish language interpreter will be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at the Health Department, and telephone interpretation is always available for all languages.
Vaccine clinic information is available on the Health Department’s website.
Local Transmission and Precautions
Local transmission of COVID-19 remains high as defined in the CDC COVID Data Tracker. Washtenaw County Health Department strongly recommends masking for everyone in indoor, public spaces. Masking is required in K-12 educational settings under local health orders.
Anyone eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID should do so. Vaccination is safe, effective, free, and available at multiple community locations.
Washtenaw County Health Department
The Washtenaw County Health Department promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community, including responding to health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs. Visit us at washtenaw.org/health or call 734-544-6700.