MCPS to Offer Free COVID-19 Vaccinations for 5-11 Year Olds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Tuesday children between the ages of 5 and 11 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA authorized the same vaccine for emergency use on Oct. 29.

In line with these developments, MCPS will partner with the County Department of Health and Human Services and Holy Cross Hospital to offer free vaccination clinics for children at schools and county sites once doses become available.

“Having full approval to vaccinate kids from five to eleven is a game changer in our fight against COVID-19,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a Wednesday press release. “Our focus now will be to get shots in the arms of as many kids as possible in an equitable way.

The County says COVID-19 vaccines can help keep children safe and in school. According to the MCPS COVID-19 School Dashboard, 625 students tested positive between the beginning of the school year and the end of October. Nearly 8,000 students were quarantined during the same period.

Pediatrician Dr. Ligia Peralta told MyMCM that the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is already arriving in doctors’ offices. So far, the County says it has received nearly 14,000 pediatric doses from the State Department of Health, and vaccinations are expected to begin Thursday.

“Now is the time for parents to make sure their children receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines,” Peralta said.

School-based clinics will be held on Saturdays and Sundays where vaccination rates are lower and case counts are higher. Appointments are required and can be made at after 6 p.m. tonight. Though the clinics will center children who have recently become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, parents and guardians will also be able to receive a dose there if needed.

Parents can indicate their interest in having their child vaccinated by completing this form. Parents are also encouraged to check with their child’s pediatrician or pharmacy about scheduling an appointment. According to acting County health officer Dr. James Bridgers, there are over 200 locations offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations aside from county clinics.

We know that many parents have been anxiously awaiting the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for younger children,” Bridgers said. “Because vaccine delivery amount will take some time to ramp up, parents are urged to be patient.”

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Ceoli Jacoby

About Ceoli Jacoby

Ceoli Jacoby is an editorial intern at Montgomery Community Media. A junior at the University of Maryland, she is pursuing a double major in multiplatform journalism and government & politics. On campus, she is a staff writer for Stories Beneath the Shell. She can be reached at


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