Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized for Children 5 to 11 Years

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that children age 5-11 be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital has received its supply of Pfizer-BioNTech, the only approved pediatric vaccine, and is ready to begin administering. An appointment is required for established patients only and can be made through both Rural Health Pediatrics (760-499-3846, available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays) and Southern Sierra Medical Clinic (760-446-6404, available Fridays only from 1-4 p.m.). New patients are required to establish with a clinic first, including a well visit appointment.

COVID-19 vaccines for children by age:

  • 4 years and under — Not authorized
  • 5-17 years old — Pfizer BioNTech only
  • 18 years and older — Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or J&J/Janssen

“I strongly encourage everyone ages 5 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine,” said RRH Pediatric Medical Director Jennifer Prince DO.

“The emergency authorization of the vaccine for children is another important step in helping us protect our community’s most vulnerable groups. Despite cases being generally milder in children, we are now seeing an increase in the number of younger members from our community testing positive. Vaccination is the best way to lower the risk of your child becoming seriously sick with COVID-19 and preventing hospitalization and even death.”

Prince said she believes the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for children greatly outweigh the known and potential risks. “Get a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 years and older as soon as you can.”

Physicians point out that in addition to protecting children from getting sick with COVID-19, the vaccine can also reduce the risk of short- and long-term health complications. 

Healthcare officials hope that vaccinating school-aged children can also bring back a sense of normalcy by eliminating COVID-related disruptions of school, sports, playdates and other activities.

Unvaccinated children 2 years and older should continue to wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with.

If you have concerns about whether the COVID-19 vaccine is right for your child, contact your child's healthcare provider or call the RRH COVID-19 vaccine info line on 833-216-6663.