JCDHE to begin offering Pfizer boosters to children ages 5-11

COVID vaccine being drawn into a needle

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will offer booster shots, along with other age appropriate immunizations, to eligible children starting Monday, May 23 at its Olathe and Mission walk-in clinics during regular business hours.

Boosters are also available at other providers, including physician offices, pharmacies, grocery stores and local health clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday, May 19, endorsed recommendations for booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 who have completed the primary vaccination series at least 5 months ago. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has also authorized this recommendation.

As cases of the Omicron variant continue to increase in Johnson County and around the country, the booster dose will provide an extra layer of protection for children in this age group from severe disease, hospitalization and the long-term effects of COVID-19 which some children may experience, even if they initially had a mild illness,” said Sanmi Areola, PhD, JCDHE director.

Also on Thursday, the CDC strengthened  its COVID-19 vaccination guidance to recommend that everyone ages 50 years and older who received any COVID-19 booster dose—as well as everyone ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised—receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

Previously, the CDC encouraged these populations to consider receiving a second booster dose based on their individual circumstances.

Those with questions about booster shots can call 913-715-2819 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They can also send an email to jcdhe@jocogov.org. Emails are answered 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Spanish speakers will be available to answer calls or emails.

Those who are eligible can search for a nearby vaccine provider by visiting vaccines.gov, texting their ZIP code to 438829 or calling 1-800-232-0233.

Getting vaccinated is an important step in ensuring protection against the serious illnesses associated with exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.

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