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A parent wearing a beige-colored hijab and patterned shirt adjusts her son's blue face covering outside the gates to his school.
A parent adjusts her son's face covering as they wait to enter Grant Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, Aug. 16, 2021, the first day of the school year. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Where Can I Get a Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Kids Age 5-11 Near Me? 

Where Can I Get a Pfizer COVID Vaccine for Kids Age 5-11 Near Me? 

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Pfizer COVID vaccines are now available for children age 5-11 in California.

Following a thorough in-depth review process from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these pediatric shots are being rolled out around the state. Read on for what parents and caregivers need to know about finding a COVID vaccine for kids age 5-11.

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Whether it's a child's shot, an adult's shot or a booster shot, a COVID vaccine will always be free. You or your child do not need health insurance to be vaccinated.

You or your child also will not be asked for proof of citizenship or about your immigration status. Getting a COVID vaccine does not make you or your child a public charge and won't affect any current or future green card applications.

What to know about Pfizer COVID vaccines for kids age 5-11

Kids in this age group can only get Pfizer ... for now.

Currently, only the Pfizer COVID vaccine has been authorized by the FDA and the CDC for use in children age 5-11.

You may see the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine also referred to as Comirnaty. This is the brand name of this particular vaccine.

The COVID vaccine dose for kids age 5-11 is lower

Children in this age group will be offered a lower dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine than the dose offered to adults and young people over 12. This lower dose — which you might hear being called the pediatric dose — is one-third of the adult dose.

If you're wondering why the lower dose of Pfizer's COVID vaccine is given according to a child's age, and not their body mass — as with some other pediatric medicines — it's actually all about the age of a kid's immune system, says Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF. And generally, over the age of six months, a young immune system is "more agile," he says.

"If you have a larger kid and a smaller kid [age 2-5], that immune system is going to be very, very responsive regardless of their weight," says Dr. Chin-Hong.

A woman helps a young girl put on a black cloth face mask with cat whiskers.
COVID vaccines for kids age 5-11are finally here. (August de Richelieu/Pexels)

Kids 5-11 will get two doses of the COVID vaccine

Like the adult version, the Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids age 5-11 is given in two doses, three weeks (or 21 days) apart. This means that when you make an appointment for a first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine for a child age 5-11, you'll also make an appointment for another dose three weeks later. Make sure you know when and where your child will be getting that second dose.

It's safe for kids to get other vaccinations at the same time

If you feel your child will be comfortable receiving more than one vaccination in a single sitting, the CDC says it's safe to receive the COVID vaccine and other vaccinations — like a flu shot — at the same time.

Like in adults, mild side effects can happen ...

In the initial trials, says Dr. Chin-Hong, the lower dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccines for kids age 5-11 actually appears to have resulted in lower instances of side effects. That said, parents and caregivers should still expect that their child might experience  some of the usual COVID vaccine side effects often experienced by adults — redness and soreness in the arm, fatigue, fever, chills and headache — "though at a lower prevalence," says Chin-Hong.

The 15-minute observation period after a child's COVID vaccination, during which you and your child will be asked to stay at the vaccination site, is intended to catch any rare allergic responses.

At what point should a parent or caregiver call a child's pediatrician about side effects back at home after the COVID vaccine? Chin-Hong says to look for symptoms that persist for more than a day and get worse, not better — especially if it's a fever.

... and the severe side effects you may have heard about are highly rare.

The "really, really rare" side effect of the COVID vaccine in younger adults, says Chin-Hong, is myocarditis and pericarditis: "inflammation of the heart muscle and the lining of the heart that will be manifested in kids as potential chest pain or palpitations." But he stresses that the rareness of the side effect means that it's "not a source of worry."

"With a lower dose, I'm not really sure it's going to be happening," says Chin-Hong. Read more from the New York Times about the rareness of heart problems after COVID vaccination.

Have more questions about kids and the COVID vaccine? Read answers to FAQs direct from medical experts.

A close-up of a hand gripping a vaccination card and writing on it with a pen.
A nurse marks a coronavirus vaccination card with a third, booster dose of Pfizer, at a vaccine clinic in Pasadena, California, on Aug. 19, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images))

Where can I find a Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids age 5-11?

There are several ways to find your child a Pfizer COVID vaccine. Don't assume you'll be proactively contacted about your child's COVID vaccine.

Different providers, clinics and counties are rolling out COVID vaccines for kids at different speeds — so if you're finding the process of trying to get an appointment for your child confusing, or are frustrated by initial lack of availability, you're not alone.  Availability will hopefully improve as providers receive more pediatric doses.

Demand for kids' COVID vaccines will be high, especially in the first few weeks. It may also take certain websites and clinics a little while to make appointments available in these first few days. If you don't see appointments available at your chosen pharmacy,  clinic or vaccination site, keep checking back.

Remember, your child will need two doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine, three weeks apart. When making an appointment for their first dose, be sure that you and your child will be able to attend that second appointment. This is especially important as the November and December holidays get closer, and many families choose to travel during this period.

If you have the choice, where should you get your child vaccinated against COVID? You know your kid best, so you might consider choosing an environment that you think will work best for them and their comfort level. That could be a large vaccine clinic where they can see grown-ups also getting their shots; a small exam room for more privacy; or in a vehicle in a drive-up appointment, where your child may not even have to unbuckle their seat belt.

What if your child is nervous about getting their COVID vaccine? "Just like we talked to kids about why they should wear masks, I think having buy-in and a discussion before the vaccination could be helpful," advises UCSF's Dr. Chin-Hong. He notes that some children might be most at ease getting their shot from a trusted, regular provider like their usual pediatrician.

Chin-Hong also recommends considering "normalizing" a child's booster shot by getting your own adult COVID booster shot at the same time, if you're eligible — or even another vaccination like the flu shot.

"And of course, there's always the lollipop and leftover Halloween candy and nice Band-Aids with Dora the Explorer," he says.

1. Find a Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 5-11 through your child's pediatrician or health care provider.

If your family has health insurance, check with your child's pediatrician or your health care provider to see whether they can offer your child the Pfizer COVID vaccine shot. If you don't have health insurance but get medical care through a city- or county-run provider, you can check with that location.

As well as trying to talk with your health care provider directly, check the website of your provider (for example, Kaiser Permanente) to see whether they're offering the ability to make appointments, and sign up for any available notifications.

2. Find a Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 5-11 through a local pharmacy.

Several pharmacy chains are offering online appointments for the Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids age 5-11.

Some pharmacies may later also offer walk-in vaccinations with no appointment according to availability.

A teen girl wearing glasses and a mask, sleeve rolled up, looks past a nurse with blue gloves who grips her shoulder with one hand and injects her with the other.
The FDA and CDC have authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. Teens, like the 17-year-old pictured, are already eligible for the vaccine. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

3. Find a Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 5-11 through My Turn.

My Turn is the state's tool that allows Californians to schedule vaccination appointments, as supplies allow. Appointments for kids age 5-11 will be available on My Turn starting November 4.

Visit the My Turn page and select "Make an Appointment." My Turn will ask for your child's information, and then for a ZIP code or location you'd like to use to search for vaccine appointments. You can give your home location, or you can input other locations to see which sites are available farther from your home.

When you find and schedule an appointment for a vaccination site through My Turn, the California Department of Public Health says you don't necessarily need to be a resident in that particular county where the vaccination site is based. So don't worry if My Turn is suggesting appointments in a county other than the one where you live or work.

If you can't travel to a clinic for your child's COVID vaccine because of health or transportation issues, you can note this when registering on My Turn, and representatives from the California Department of Public Health will call you to arrange an in-home visit or transportation.

If you're trying to find an appointment at a certain location and can't see it in the search results, try searching on My Turn for that site's exact ZIP code, rather than your own. Remember that if you're not seeing a specific site in the search results, it might just be because of low supply or lack of available appointments. You'll also be shown a lot of pharmacy results: Keep scrolling through them to make sure you're not missing clinic results hidden among them.

My Turn will ask you to provide a cellphone number and an email address. The state says this is so you can use two-factor authentication to doubly confirm your identity and make your appointment, and to prevent bots from automatically scooping up available appointments online.

If you don't have an email address or a cellphone number, or you have questions, you can call the California COVID-19 hotline at (833) 422-4255 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m PT) and sign up over the phone. Both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Callers needing information in other languages will be connected to a translation service that offers assistance in over 250 languages.

4. Find a Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids 5-11 through your county's public health website.

Visit your county's public health website to learn how your county is vaccinating its residents, and if they've begun to offer COVID vaccines to kids age 5-11 yet . The availability of vaccination appointments will be based on the doses that the state has supplied to your county. Your county may also be offering in-school vaccinations for kids.

You can sign up to receive notifications via email from your county to know when there is greater appointment availability. Find your Bay Area county in our list:


Tell us: What else do you need to know about COVID vaccines for kids?


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