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Novant will begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 against COVID-19 this week

Novant Health, one of the largest health care providers in Charlotte, will begin vaccinating the youngest eligible patients against COVID-19 this week.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Novant Health announced that it will begin COVID-19 vaccinations for kids ages 5 to 11 on Thursday, Nov. 4. 

The announcement comes one day after U.S. health officials signed off on Pfizer's vaccine for younger kids. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gave her final approval Tuesday night, just hours after an advisory panel unanimously decided Pfizer's shot should be opened to the 28 million American kids in that age group. Interested parents can click here to learn more about scheduling an appointment with Novant Health.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, issued a statement Wednesday encouraging all children to get vaccinated to protect against serious illness and hospitalization. 

"Children are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus just like everyone else," Cohen said. "The authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides a safe, tested way to protect them from serious illness and provide healthier happier experiences in and outside of the classroom."

The Mecklenburg County Health Department will have the shots starting on Thursday at both health department locations and the Valerie C. Woodard Center.

StarMed has also added new vaccine clinic locations in anticipation of increased demand. They have 18 locations in Mecklenburg County, many strategically placed near schools to make it easier for parents. 

HOW TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH NOVANT

  1. MyChart: Anyone can create an account by visiting Novant's website. Legal guardians have primary access to their child's account through age 11. Parents can schedule their child's vaccination through their own MyChart account. Click here for more information. 
  2. GetVaccinated.org: Anyone can schedule an appointment online
  3. Pediatric clinics: Established patients are encouraged to check with their child's pediatrician to find out if they're offering the vaccine and to schedule appointments.

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HOW TO SCHEDULE A COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENT FOR KIDS AT CVS

Starting Sunday, Nov. 7, select CVS pharmacy locations will begin offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 to 11. 

CVS Health said Wednesday that 1,700 locations are now accepting appointments for the pediatric vaccine. Parents should schedule an appointment online at CVS.com or through the CVS pharmacy app. 

CVS Health said it plans introduce "child-friendly elements in the coming weeks designed to help motivate and reward the children and help keep them entertained" during the 15-minute post-vaccination observation period. 

HOW TO SCHEDULE A COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENT FOR KIDS AT WALGREENS

Walgreens announced Wednesday that it will begin offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 in thousands of stores starting Saturday, Nov. 6. 

The company said appointments are now available and can be made through the appointment scheduler at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens. 

Additional appointments will be added in the coming weeks as Walgreens gets additional vaccine doses, according to Wednesday's announcement

Walgreens said there will be appointments specifically focused on after-school hours with select stores offering additional appointments on Saturdays through Nov. 20. 

Stores will have activity sheets, stickers and Tootsie Pops to help kids pass the time during the required 15-minute post-vaccination observation period. 

HOW TO SCHEDULE A COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENT FOR KIDS AT WALMART & SAM'S CLUB

Walmart and Sam's Club pharmacies will begin offering kids' COVID-19 vaccines "starting later this week," according to a online post by Lisa Smith, Walmart's Sr. Director of Clinical Strategy and Operations. 

Smith said that the pediatric vaccine will be available in more than 5,100 pharmacies, though supply may be limited initially.  

Parents and guardians can use Walmart’s online appointment scheduler to find an available Pfizer vaccine in their communities. Once you filter by age, the tool will show locations administering the kids' Pfizer vaccine in your neighborhood.

Walk-ins will be accepted, based on availability, according to Smith's post. 

To find a COVID-19 vaccine at a Walmart or Sam's Club, visit Walmart.com/covidvaccine or samsclub.com/pharmacy/immunizations

Thousands of pediatricians pre-ordered doses, and Pfizer began shipments soon after the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Friday to authorize emergency use. Pfizer said it expects to make 19,000 shipments totaling about 11 million doses in the next several days, and that millions more will be available to order on a weekly basis.

The vaccine — one-third the dose given to older children and adults and administered with kid-sized needles — requires two doses three weeks apart, plus two more weeks for full protection to kick in. That means children who get vaccinated before Thanksgiving will be covered by Christmas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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