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Akron Children’s to offer COVID-19 vaccine to children 5-11

11-03-2021 (Akron, Ohio )

Akron Children’s Hospital will offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 years old in schools throughout Northeast Ohio as well on its Akron and Mahoning Valley campuses.

On Tuesday, the CDC extended the emergency use authorization for the two-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series for children 5 to 11 years of age.

As of today, appointments can be made for children 5 and older at Akron Children’s community vaccination clinics on its Akron and Beeghly campuses. Appointments can be made at akronchildrens.org/covidvaccine.

Akron Children’s will continue offering the vaccines in schools to students with a parent’s consent. So far, the hospital’s Division of School Health Services has vaccinated students across 20 school districts throughout Summit, Portage, Stark, Mahoning, Columbiana and Wayne counties. Now the vaccine will be offered to students 5 years of age and older, with the school-based clinics continuing into the fall and winter months.

Additional vaccine access available by mid-November

By mid-November, the hospital plans to offer the vaccine at primary care offices (Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics) in its 35-county service area and at Urgent Care locations.

“We have learned so much from our vaccine experience this year. What we know is that we need a portfolio of options for families,” said Dr. Michael Bigham, chief quality officer for Akron Children’s. “We are committed as an organization to make the vaccine available at local schools, our hospital campuses in Akron and the Mahoning Valley, our urgent cares, and at our pediatrician offices. We are trying to make sure we have many options available for easy access to the vaccine that are close to home.”

Thoughtful panel discussion addresses vaccine questions

Recently, three Akron Children’s physicians addressed vaccine questions and concerns from parents in a panel discussion that’s available on the hospital’s YouTube channel. The panel included Dr. Eric Robinette, a pediatric infectious disease specialist; Dr. Michael Forbes, a pediatric critical care physician; and Dr. Bigham, who has been leading Akron Children’s COVID-19 vaccine program.

“We have a responsibility as a children’s hospital to improve the health and wellness of the children we serve,” said Dr. Bigham. “Through thoughtful conversation with children and their caregivers, we can help satisfy, explain and address any uncertainties they may have. Our panel discussion covers many of the questions and concerns we are hearing in our practices and those submitted to us by parents on social media.”

The discussion, which can be found here, covers such topics as the risk/benefits of the vaccine, what the doctors have been seeing when treating children for COVID-19, myths and misinformation about the vaccine, the effectiveness of the smaller vaccine dose size for younger children and the common reasons why people are hesitant to get vaccinated.