Monroe County opening 4 vaccine clinics for kids 5-11

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Starting Saturday, Monroe County will open four COVID-19 vaccination clinics for young children between the ages of 5 and 11. This comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized the Pfizer vaccine for this age group.

Parents need to know this before they rush out to get their children vaccinated. Vaccines are mostly by appointment, so very few walk-ins will be taken. These weekend pediatric clinics, also will not vaccinate anyone outside of this age group.

Monroe County Public Health Director Dr. Michael Mendoza said millions of children and teens aged 12 to 17 have already been vaccinated. Now it’s time for younger children to roll up their sleeves, and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"The dose for children aged 5 to 11 is one-third of the dose given to older children, adolescence, and adults. It is appropriate, it is safe, and it is effective, and it is far better than getting COVID-19," Mendoza said.

Clinics will open at the Pittsford Plaza, Greece Ridge Mall, and the Monroe Community College Downtown Campus. Sunday’s clinic will be at the Edgerton Rec Center. Young children will see smaller-sized clinics, that will be staffed by health care workers that primarily work with this age group.

University of Rochester Medical Center Pediatrician Dr. Stephan Cook encourages families to talk to their primary care providers for appointment times. He offers other alternatives as well.

"Checking ‘My Care’ is one example of a way to find these appointments. Talking with the office staff as well as looking at the web page can also provide insights as to what their scheduling procedures are," Cook said.

Rochester Regional Health has pediatric clinics of its own, according to Pediatrician Dr. Steven Schultz.

"We have 50 family practices and pediatric clinics that will be live, and offering the vaccine the week of November 15 with a handful of practices that will be going live next week as pilots," Schultz said.

He went on to explain why this vaccine is so vital.

"We’re not only protecting our children, we’re also protecting their classmates. we’re protecting the teachers, the coaches, and the staffs at school. We’re also protecting our family members as everyone embarks on the holiday season coming up," Schultz said.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said these clinics will be held every weekend until the demand is no longer needed.

Click here for more information or to make an appointment.