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At CDC's recommendation, Greene County begins vaccinating kids ages 5 and older against Covid

Vaccine and syringe
Vaccine and syringe

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is now taking appointments for the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children ages five through 11.

"We've already had so many parents schedule appointments at our vaccination clinic," health department director Katie Towns said at a press conference Thursday morning. You can watch the press conference here.

County health officials say nearly one in every five cases of Covid-19 in mid-October was in children ages five to 17. The state of Missouri approved the pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine for kids ages five through 11 on Wednesday, Towns said.

The pediatric vaccine doses are a different size than the adult dose; both are available at the health department's vaccination clinic at 1425 E. Battlefield Road in Springfield. The building, formerly the site of Toys 'R' Us, is where health officials are administering all approved doses and booster shots of the vaccine for both children and adults.

Appointments are required for children to receive the vaccine. Parents and guardians may make appointments through or by calling (417) 874-1211.

Clinical trials on children and the Covid vaccine

According to the CDC's website, scientists have conducted clinical trials with about 3,000 children, resulting in the FDA's determination that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for kids ages five through 15. Previously, the FDA approved the vaccine for people ages 16 and older. You can read more about the FDA's process of developing, authorizing, and approving the Covid-19 vaccine by clicking the hyperlink.

"The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Get a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 years and older as soon as you can," the CDC says on its website.

The CDC says the trials on the pediatric vaccine showed a 91% efficacy rate among children in the five to 11 age group.