coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 Vaccine for Young Children Available at Drugstore Chains Starting This Weekend

It's the first weekend the Pfizer dose for kids ages 5 to 11 is being offered after the CDC gave the final OK.

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Walgreens, the first nationwide drugstore chain to offer COVID-19 vaccine appointments for small children, between five and eleven years old, is opening appointments for those shots Saturday.

It's the first weekend the Pfizer dose for kids is being offered, after it was approved for use on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Walgreens announced its plans to offer the shot starting Saturday, soon after that approval came from the Centers for Disease Control. Fellow drugstore chain CVS wasn't far behind, announcing dose availability starting on Sunday. Rite Aid is also entering the mix, and will begin offering the COVID-19 vaccine to small children in about a week.

Children get one-third of the adult dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and receive two shots, three weeks apart.

Los Angeles County kicked off its campaign for the kids' shot on Thursday in East LA. Parents there said they wanted to get their kids protected as early as possible, so they could spend the holidays with their grandparents.

Other parents are hesitant about giving the shot to their kids, because the vaccine is new and most children only develop mild cases when infected with the coronavirus.

However, nearly 100 children in the United States have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Pediatricians say vaccinating the U.S.'s 28 million kids in the 5-to-11-years-old age range is key to ending the pandemic.

"The benefit is really not only to the child but to the community as a whole," said Dr. Richard Kang, chief of pediatrics at Dignity Health Northridge Hospital. "The more people we get vaccinated, I think the more of a hold we will have on this virus."

The CDC says a clinical trial shows the shot is 91% effective at preventing symptomatic illness in elementary-school-aged kids.

The Pfizer dose for kids will be available at select Walgreens starting Saturday, Nov. 6, at CVS on Sunday, Nov. 7, and at Rite Aid the following week. The vaccine will also be available at about 900 sites throughout LA County, including more than 400 school locations.

Find a location near you offering the vaccine for kids at this website.

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