Mayor, Health Department Announce Pediatric Vaccine Rollout Strategy
Wednesday Nov 3rd, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Announcement Comes After FDA and CDC Say Vaccine is Safe and Effective in Children
BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, November 3, 2021) – Today, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, in partnership with Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises, announced the City’s strategy to roll out pediatric vaccines to children, ages 5-11. This announcement comes following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children in that age group.
“As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on preserving the public health of Baltimore City, this is the next critical step to protect our children and communities,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “I want to thank Dr. Dzirasa and Dr. Santelises for their work to ensure an efficient rollout of the pediatric vaccine and get our students vaccinated. We know our young people are safer, happier, and more prepared to learn when they are in the classroom.”
On October 29th, the FDA provided emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old. The vaccine is safe in this age group and 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5-11 years old. The vaccine is a 2-dose series, with the second dose given 3 weeks after the first dose. The main difference between the pediatric and adult vaccines is the pediatric Pfizer vaccine is one-third the dose of the adolescent/adult Pfizer vaccine.
The Baltimore City Health Department and Baltimore City Public Schools will collaborate on the vaccination of elementary school-aged children.
“As a parent and pediatrician, I can uniquely relate to the concerns of caregivers when it comes to getting your children vaccinated. My son will be 5 years old in December and I am getting him vaccinated so he can safely stay in school and spend time with family who are immunocompromised,” said Baltimore City Health Department Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “In Baltimore City, over the last few months we have seen the burden of COVID-19 cases shift to our younger, unvaccinated population, with a sharp increase in COVID-19 among children less than 10 years old. Please do not wait to get your children vaccinated and if you have questions, talk with your child’s clinical provider.”
With school in full swing and the upcoming holidays, now is the time for Baltimore City children to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Pediatric vaccination will:
- Protect children from COVID-19 disease and reduce chances of children developing long-term effects from COVID-19
- Allow students to stay in school
- Reduce spread of COVID-19 at schools and in the community
The Baltimore City Health Department will provide pediatric vaccines for 5 -11 year olds through school-based vaccination clinics throughout the City, as well as through mobile health clinics focused on neighborhoods with low vaccination rates. Pediatric vaccines will also be available through the homebound vaccination program for children and caregivers who are mobility limited and need to get vaccinated at home. Pharmacies and providers’ offices may also have the vaccine available. As with the City’s other vaccination efforts, the Health Department will work in partnership to ensure equitable access to vaccines for children.
The week of November 8, the Baltimore City Health Department will begin to offer pediatric vaccinations at select sites throughout the city. Clinic sites offering vaccinations for 5-11 year olds will be listed at coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov and on social media.
Residents can also call the COVID Call Center to find a clinic and get their family vaccinated at (443) 984-8650, Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-6:30 PM and Saturday 9:00 AM-1:00 PM.
All clinics listed on the Baltimore City Health Department website are walk up and free of charge. No appointment is needed.