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Kid shots start next week at mall

Starting next week, appointments for the Pfizer vaccine will be available for children ages 5-11 and their families at the Health Department’s vaccine clinic Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Blue Ridge Mall.

Children ages 5 to 11 and their families are welcome to receive a free Covid-19 vaccination at the Health Department’s vaccination clinics, following this week’s recommendation from the CDC. Effective next week, clinic hours will be extended to 6:30 p.m. to better accommodate families after work and school.

Appointments for children ages 5 to 11 and their families are available from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and can be scheduled online at or by calling 828-585-4700. Parent or guardian consent is required.

During the most recent surge, pediatric cases of Covid-19 rose by about 240% in the United States, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. A total of 15.7 percent of Henderson County’s cases were among children ages 0-17. While children and adolescents are typically at a lower risk for severe outcomes, Covid-19 cases in children can result in hospitalizations, deaths, MIS-C (inflammatory syndromes) and long-term complications, according to the CDC.

No safety concerns or serious side effects from the vaccine were noted in clinical trials for children 5-11, which began in March. The most common side effects included soreness in the arm, headache and being tired for a day or two – similar to what older kids and adults have experienced. Children infected with Covid-19 in the past also benefit from the vaccine since natural immunity wanes over time.

“Getting vaccinated has many advantages,” said Medical Director Diana Curran. “Vaccinated children will miss fewer school days from Covid-19, be protected from serious illness and be safe to enjoy activities they may be missing out on now. There may be adults in their lives who need protection from Covid-19 exposure as well, such as immune-compromised grandparents or teachers.”

The Pfizer vaccine authorized for children ages 5-11 is one-third of the dose given to people 12 and older but still provides 90 percent protection for Covid-19 infection. Children are given two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, three weeks apart. Children in this age group should not receive the 12 and older dose.

Parents and guardians who have questions and concerns about Covid-19 vaccines are encouraged to talk with their child’s physician. For more information on vaccines for ages 5-11, visit

The clinic at the Blue Ridge Mall remains open Tuesdays and Thursdays for first and second doses for everyone 12 and older as well as additional and booster doses for eligible groups. There will not be a clinic on Thursday, Nov. 11, due to the Veteran’s Day holiday.