Doses of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines started to arrive in Massachusetts last week, and state officials “don’t anticipate any supply issues,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday.
Speaking from Boston Children’s Hospital, Baker said parents now can begin making appointments for children ages 5 to 11, the latest age group to become eligible for the shots. Baker said more than 500 vaccine sites are offering the Pfizer pediatric vaccine, including pediatricians’ offices, pharmacies, community health centers, hospitals and clinics sponsored by the state and local health boards.
“With this mixed model of providers, nearly every Massachusetts child lives within 30 minutes of a vaccine clinic,” Baker said.
Dr. Kevin Churchwell, the president of Boston Children’s Hospital, said that vaccinating children against COVID-19 “will protect them and will slow the spread of this disease to the unvaccinated and to other very at-risk individuals.”
“Vaccinating children will reduce the toll of this virus on everyone,” Churchwell said. “The availability of the vaccine in younger children offers a tangible opportunity for all of our children to return to more normal daily activities and routines, and that’s critical to their well-being.”
Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke 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.”