PHILADELPHIA - The City of Philadelphia announced that all children ages 5 to 11 in Philadelphia can now receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Following the U.S. FDA emergency use authorization of a pediatric strength dose and the U.S. CDC recommendation that children be vaccinated, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has instructed all COVID-19 vaccine providers to begin administering the free vaccine as they receive the vaccine.
The FDA and CDC have found this vaccine to be safe and effective in children. Thanks to the nearly 900,000 Philadelphians fully vaccinated against COVID, the number of people testing positive for COVID is half of what it was at the start of November in 2020 and continues to drop even lower.
“I have been waiting for this day for months and months; we can finally vaccinate our children!” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “We know that as more people in Philadelphia get vaccinated against COVID-19, we all become safer. I cannot recommend strongly enough that every child who is eligible to be vaccinated do so as soon as possible. People often ask me how we can get back to normal, I believe that getting children vaccinated is a big step in that direction.”
The Health Department is working with vaccine providers throughout the city to make pediatric COVID vaccines available in as many places as possible. To find the nearest pediatric vaccine clinics, residents are encouraged to visit phila.gov/vaccine or vaccines.gov. Residents can also call 215-685-5488.
“Though the pandemic is not over, being able to vaccinate so many more of our children will allow parents to breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing they are doing everything they can to keep their kids healthy and safe,” said Stacey Kallem, MD, MSHP, Director of the Health Department’s Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health.
The FDA-approved and -authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and reduce the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. More than 81% of all eligible Philadelphians have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and nearly two-thirds are fully vaccinated. Philadelphia is currently one of the best-vaccinated cities in the United States, according to press reports.