Suffolk County has opened a Covid-19 vaccination clinic specifically for children ages 5 to 17 years old, County Executive Steve Bellone announced Tuesday.
The vaccine POD, or point of distribution, will offer grade school-age kids the free Covid-19 vaccine at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge three days a week beginning Tuesday.
“We’re encouraging parents to get kids vaccinated and we want to make it as easy as possible,” Bellone said during a news conference at the vaccine site. “As a father, I am encouraging all parents who may have questions to talk with their pediatrician or a trusted healthcare provider about the importance of getting their children vaccinated. This vaccine saves lives and it could save the life of your child.”
Last week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that children ages 5 to 11 get the Pfizer vaccine, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized it for that age group. Pfizer’s shot is the only Covid vaccine authorized for children under 16 in the United States.
Younger children across Long Island began receiving the vaccine after last week’s announcement, including 6-year-old Violet Arana-Wolfe, whose father, Suffolk County Police Officer Tom Arana-Wolfe, spoke about the vaccine on Tuesday.
“She understood why it was important, especially with us having a lot of elderly family members who we want to see at Christmas,” Tom Arana-Wolfe said, “so we were very happy it came out in time where she could be fully vaccinated to visit them.”
The vaccine clinic for children ages 5-17 will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as on Thursday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
Walk-ins will be available on a first come, first served basis, but Bellone encouraged residents to make appointments beforehand. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when receiving the vaccine. Residents can schedule appointments for their children by calling 311 or visiting suffolkcountyny.gov/vaccine.
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