COVID-19 vaccines approved for younger children

A Message from the COVID Safety Team

Dear families,

This week, children 5 years of age and older became eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, however, the available supply for pediatric doses is still low as production ramps up. We encourage all families to consider immunizing their child against COVID-19, not just for their individual health, but for the health and safety of our schools and community.

Please note that immunizing your child against COVID-19 also minimizes the impact of COVID-19 health and safety protocols on their learning opportunities. For example, if your child is fully vaccinated, they would not need to quarantine if they were identified as a close contact, and they would be able to continue to attend in-person school and extracurriculars.

The only authorized vaccine for people 5-18 years of age is Pfizer. The dosage for children 5-11 is one-third of the dosage for adolescents and adults. A second dose is given three weeks after the first.

Vaccine appointments in our community

A limited number of vaccine providers have kid-size doses as of today. Please note that many providers like Family Care Network do not plan to offer in-office COVID-19 vaccines. Parental consent is required by each provider.

  • The Whatcom County Health Department will offer pediatric COVID-19 vaccines alongside their pop-up clinic between 4 and 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5 in the Old Lynden Middle School Cafeteria at 516 Main Street in Lynden. Appointments are required for this clinic. Registration will open for this clinic today, Nov. 4, around noon and will be posted online.
  • PeaceHealth has limited appointments throughout the week and is planning two Saturday pediatric-only clinics, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20, at 4545 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham. Appointments are required and must be made by telephone; call 1-833-375-0285 to make an appointment. You do not need to be an established PeaceHealth patient to make an appointment.
  • Nooksack Valley Drug will have kid-size doses starting Nov. 11. You can make an appointment at NooksackValleyDrug.com.

At this time, we do not have any in-school vaccination clinics planned, but we will update families if anything changes.

Online vaccine locator

You can now filter the online vaccine locator for “Pfizer-BioNTech Pediatric, ages 5-11” to search for vaccine providers. The availability of vaccines for kids will increase over time as the supply reaches providers. To find a vaccine location, visit Vaccine Locator.

The Whatcom County Health Department will continue to update information on how to access COVID-19 vaccines for kids on their pediatric COVID-19 vaccines webpage.

COVID-19 vaccine facts from the CDC

  • COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19.
  • The Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
  • Children may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal and typically go away after a few days.
  • Vaccines are available at no cost to you and health insurance is not required.
  • It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. Children are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose.
  • If your child has already had COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you still get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Learn more facts about COVID-19 vaccines at the CDC website.