NOVEMBESAN ANGELO, TX –– As providers across the country gear up to administer the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to millions of eligible children, Walgreens announced it will be offering the vaccine at select stores on Saturday.
"The recommendation of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for this age group comes as children are at least as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults are and at risk of severe illness," said Walgreens in a statement. "As many families prepare to travel and gather for the holidays, and COVID-19 variants continue to emerge, individuals including children are at high risk to contract and spread COVID-19 and experience more severe symptoms."
Approximately 40 percent of Walgreens stores that will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 are located in areas that have a high Social Vulnerability Index score.
This is in response to research that suggests COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the health of Black and Hispanic children who often reside in these areas, making this next milestone in vaccinating children critically important.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been deemed safe and highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections in young children with a 90 percent efficacy rate. The vaccine for children is a pediatric-specific formulation and dose compared to the vaccine adults and adolescents receive, with a second dose of the vaccine at least three weeks administered after the initial dose. Children will also be eligible to receive a flu shot during their visit.
In an effort to make the experience more pleasant, children will be offered activity sheets and stickers. They will also have the chance to a 5x7 photo of them getting the shot and a Tootsie pop.
Parents can make an appointment for their children by visiting Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app, or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.
Since the vaccine became available to the general public, Walgreens has administered approximately 45 million COVID-19 vaccines.
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to administer recommended vaccinations to children ages 3 and older. In that time, Walgreens has administered over 300,000 flu immunizations to children ages 5 to 11.
“Walgreens pharmacy team members have significant experience vaccinating children and adolescents, and are ready to immunize this newly eligible population safely and as quickly as possible,” said Kevin Ban, M.D., chief medical officer, Walgreens. “The COVID-19 vaccine is just as important to protect children as other routine immunizations are, and the expanded eligibility will help children stay in school safely and prevent severe illness due to COVID-19.”