Health Team

Local hospitals give COVID-19 vaccines to younger kids by appointment, walk-in

Posted November 4, 2021 5:02 a.m. EDT
Updated November 4, 2021 6:34 a.m. EDT

— On Thursday morning, UNC Health will become one of the first local hospitals to give shots to kids as young as 5 years old.

Parents will start arriving at the UNC Children's Clinic on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh, which offers vaccines by appointment only, at 10 a.m. The hospital said its supply of the vaccine is limited right now but that it is expected to pick up in the coming weeks.

Cape Fear Valley Health is accepting walk-ins at Health Pavilion North ExpressCare, Center Pharmacy and Hoke Pharmacy, but organizers say patients could be turned away if the clinics reach capacity.

Center and Hoke Pharmacy are open Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Health Pavilion North is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave final approval to Pfizer-BioNTech's shot for kids ages 5 to 11 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, child vaccinations began locally in pediatrician's offices.

Many parents told WRAL News they were anxious to get their child vaccinated right away, but others were hesitant. Only about three out of 10 parents of kids ages 5 to 11 say their children will get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can, according to a national poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Children who already had COVID-19 still should be vaccinated, and they need both doses, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday, adding that studies show it's safe for them to get the shots, which will boost their protection.

"We have data from the trials -- in, in fact, several, about 10% of people in the clinical trials for the kids -- had previous infection, and we have seen that that bolsters their protection and it is safe to do," Walensky said.

Children now make up a disproportionate number of new COVID-19 cases, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The CDC says 745 children and teenagers under 18 have died of COVID-19.

State health officials say North Carolina should receive more than 411,000 doses in three waves. With an estimated 892,795 children eligible for the vaccine, those doses could get 46% of kids vaccinated within the first few weeks.

Want to get your child vaccinated? WRAL is compiling a list of providers that will carry COVID vaccinations for young kids.

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