How to Find Mass. COVID Vaccine Locations for Kids 5-11

Hundreds of appointments at about 20 locations throughout the state went live on the state's VaxFinder website on Thursday morning

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday that parents can now make appointments to get children between the ages of 5 and 11 vaccinated.

Hundreds of appointments at about 20 locations throughout the state went live on the state's VaxFinder website on Thursday morning. More sites were added throughout the day. Some of those appointments were at kid-friendly locations like Boston's Museum of Science, Worcester's Ecotarium and Acton's Discovery Museum.

"We have places available to get appointments now," the governor said. "If someone wants to get an appointment today they should be able to do that."

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker outlined the state's plans for vaccinating kids ages 5-11 against COVID-19, with shots available at more than 500 locations to start.

But not all of the appointments listed on the website are available immediately. The Museum of Science appointments, for example, aren't available until Nov. 14. And a Brockton vaccination clinic included on the list as having 60 doses available never got them.

Baker said the process will work much the same as adult vaccinations at state-run vaccination sites, pharmacies and healthcare centers, with one key difference -- they don't anticipate any supply issues. Right now, only the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in younger children.

"With this mixed model of providers, nearly every Massachusetts child lives within 30 minutes of a vaccine clinic," Baker said.

The governor stressed that in addition to the VaxFinder site, parents can and should book COVID-19 vaccine appointments through their child's pediatrician's office directly.

"It's a really good day," said Margaret Cooke, the state's acting health commissioner. "Today we have another tool to fight against COVID-19."

An announcement is expected Thursday on how Massachusetts plans to handle its COVID-19 vaccine rolleout for children ages 5-11.

She encouraged parents with questions about the vaccine to seek out answers from a trusted health care provider.

"We've seen over the past year that vaccines are safe and they're incredibly effective," Cooke said. "They're the best way that we can protect our friends and our families and our loved ones."

"I think the vaccines are proving themselves," added Baker. "But people should talk to their doctor and their child's doctors and then make their own decisions. But I certainly hope based on the data that I've seen that they do decide to get their child vaccinated."

Click here to search for an appointment on the state's VaxFinder website. Residents can also schedule an appointment by calling 211 from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Translators are available in over 100 languages.

Pharmacies, municipalities and school districts are also executing their plans to get the vaccine to the younger population, with most appointments starting this weekend or Monday. A clinic in Needham began giving the first dose to kids Wednesday morning.

Pharmacists say this will give parents lots of options to get their kids vaccinated.

“I think that this is such a huge win because we want to get back to that new sense of normal, right, we have been in this pandemic for over a year and a half, I think kids are wondering when is this going to be over and I think that think that this approval, it gets us one step closer," said Vicki Saengkheune, pharmacy manager of CVS in Worcester.

Already the demand is high.

“It has been a big relief for a lot of parents who have called and want to get their kids in vaccinated,” said Bhuren Patel of Pelmeds Pharmacy.

“At first it hurt for like one second and then it didn’t hurt at all,” 8-year-old Jay Drews said.

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