ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Children ages 5-11 could begin to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in St. Louis County by the end of the week.
The CDC is expected to rule this week on whether to approve the vaccine for the 5 to 11 age group. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said in a Monday news conference that if it gets the green light, the county is prepared to begin administering the child-size vaccine Saturday.
Pediatric vaccines will be offered at all three of the health department's permanent health centers as well as four library branches: Lewis and Clark, Natural Bridge, Florissant Valley and The Rock Road.
Evening hours will also be held twice a week at the South County Health Center in Sunset Hills and Saturday hours at the Johnson Murphy Health Center in Berkeley.
Appointments and walk-ins will be welcome. More details will be posted once the vaccine is approved.
St. Louis County has partnered with a dozen pediatric care providers to supply the vaccine. Page said they are also working with school districts to provide on-site vaccinations and will release further information as it is ironed out.
Page called the vaccine a "great gift" as we approach the holiday season.
"Being able to provide a vaccine for our children ages 5 to 11 will have a significant impact on slowing this virus. Children in this age range could be fully vaccinated by Christmas and help us keep on the right trajectory for a very promising 2022,” he said.
Page noted that community transmission of COVID-19 among children is currently the highest of any other age group in the county. The average rate of new cases is highest in ages 5 to 9 with 20.3 cases daily per 100,000 people.
"Getting your child vaccinated is the single most impactful step that parents and caregivers can take, to protect our young ones from severe illness from COVID-19," Page said.
He encouraged any parents with hesitations to speak to their pediatrician.
St. Louis County also has a phone line for parents and guardians with questions about getting the vaccine for their children. Call 314-615-7967.