Pinellas clinics begin vaccinating kids 5 and up

Coronavirus

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida Department of Health on Friday will start vaccinating children ages 5 and older at its clinics in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo, Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs.

Children ages five and up are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s low-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 is being offered at clinics and pharmacies across the country. The shot is given in a two-dose series, three weeks apart. All kids ages 5 through 11 can get the vaccine, but immunocompromised children and those with preexisting conditions should consult a pediatrician before they get vaccinated. Children in Florida won’t need a doctor’s note to get vaccinated, but they will need their parent’s consent, since Florida is one of 41 states that requires it.

“The FDA and the CDC had to deliberate on what is safer to do and all of the studies pretty much very clearly show that it is safer to have those children get vaccinated,” said Dr. Allison Messina, a doctor at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Messina said 8,300 U.S. children between the ages of 5 and 11 have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Five to 11-year-old people are among the healthiest people in our population and they shouldn’t be going to the hospital really at all,” she said.

“For me, I think this is the best thing that we could’ve done to protect not only ourselves but our loved ones as well,” said Danielle Jones, a Tampa Bay mom who recently vaccinated her 6-year-old son.

Vaccines for children will be available at the following clinics:

  • St. Petersburg Health Department, 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Street N., St. Petersburg
  • Clearwater Health Department, 310 N. Myrtle Avenue, Clearwater
  • Mid-County Health Department, 8751 Ulmerton Road, Largo
  • Pinellas Park Health Department, 6350 76th Ave. N., Pinellas Park
  • Tarpon Springs Center, 301 S. Disston Avenue, Tarpon Springs

A parent or guardian must accompany the child. Walk-in services are allowed, or appointments may be made by calling (727) 824-6931.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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