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Mecklenburg County offering Pfizer COVID booster for kids ages 5 to 11

Both branches of the Mecklenburg County health department will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 booster to children ages 5 to 11.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County health department will begin offering Pfizer's COVID-19 booster to children ages 5 to 11, beginning Monday, May 23. 

Mecklenburg County Public Health announced the boosters will be available to kids five months after their most recent vaccine dose. The Pfizer booster is currently the only brand available to children. 

“The booster for children 5 to11 years old comes at an opportune time,” said Paige Bennett, deputy director for Mecklenburg County Public Health, said. “The booster provides a significant increase in protection against serious illness, hospitalization, death and long-term complications from COVID-19 ahead of summer activities like vacations, camps and play dates.”

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Pediatric COVID-19 boosters will be available at both health department locations on Billingsley Road and Beatties Ford Road. All COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free, regardless of insurance status.

Pfizer announced Monday that three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine offer strong protection for children under 5. The company plans to give that data to U.S. regulators this week in a step toward letting the youngest kids get the shots. 

Preliminary data suggested the three-dose series is 80% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, the companies said, but they cautioned the calculation is based on just 10 cases diagnosed among study participants by the end of April. The study rules state that at least 21 cases are needed to formally determine effectiveness, and Pfizer promised an update as soon as more data is available.

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WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions reporting on and engaging the community around the problems and solutions as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.

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