Two of the nation's largest pharmacy chains — CVS Health and Walgreens — are accepting coronavirus vaccination appointments for children ages 5-11.
CVS Health announced Wednesday that it will be offering kids 5-11 years of age the pediatric dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Sunday, Nov. 7, "upon receipt and confirmation of vaccine supply."
Meanwhile, Walgreens has announced that it will be administering Pfizer's jab to kids aged 5 to 11 beginning Saturday, Nov. 6. It said it will offer the children's Pfizer vaccine to approximately 40 percent of its stores.
Both are encouraging parents to make appointments.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off late Tuesday on the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children under 12 years old following a unanimous recommendation from the agency's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Vaccinating children has been a major public health goal and has been eagerly awaited by many pediatricians and family members of young children. Experts say vaccinating the bulk of the population, including children, is necessary to contain the pandemic. Twenty-eight million kids in the U.S. are now eligible for Pfizer's pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.
"We know many parents have been waiting for the opportunity to vaccinate their young children and are looking for convenient access to a trusted resource for vaccinations," said Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health, in the company's press statement. "Our immunizers have been preparing for this important role, and stand ready to help answer parents' questions, guide them and their children through the process, and administer the vaccines safely, with kindness and caring."
CVS will initially offer the pediatric vaccine at one-third of the adult dose to 1,700 locations across 46 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., and the appointments can also be scheduled by calling CVS or going to its website.
Both pharmacy chains reiterate the CDC's guidance and stressed the importance and safety of vaccinating children, who are at risk of severe illness and complications from COVID-19.