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The Wright Center accepting appointments for teenagers and elementary school-age children to receive updated COVID-19 boosters


Children as young as 5 years old can receive the updated coronavirus booster vaccines at several of The Wright Center for Community Health’s primary care practices, helping to defend themselves, their families and the broader population from sickness.

The updated boosters, also called bivalent vaccines, offer protection against the now-prevalent omicron variant that accounts for most new COVID-19 infections in this region and across the United States.

Federal health officials had previously authorized the use of the new shots in adults and teens, and on Oct. 12 expanded those eligible to also include elementary-age kids. Age restrictions vary by product.

The Pfizer-made pediatric booster has been approved for children 5 to 11 years old, while the Moderna pediatric booster is available for individuals ages 6 to 17. Both companies’ pediatric boosters are approved for use at least two months after a child has completed the initial two-shot series.

Updated boosters – the first redesigned coronavirus vaccines to be released in the U.S. since the initial rollout in late 2020 – are intended to help contain a possible surge of new cases this fall and winter. Vaccines have proven to be the most powerful tool against the highly contagious virus, with demonstrated effectiveness during the pandemic in reducing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

Dr. Jignesh Sheth

Dr. Jignesh Sheth

“These bivalent boosters pack a one-two punch against COVID-19, protecting against the initial virus as well as the variants responsible for the most suffering today,” said Dr. Jignesh Sheth, chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health. “As the holiday season approaches, and more activities are conducted indoors, we hope to see more families taking the opportunity to safeguard their health, especially now that adults and most children are eligible to get the most up-to-date boosters.”

People can schedule appointments by visiting The Wright Center’s website at TheWrightCenter.org and using the express online scheduling service. Locations currently offering the updated pediatric boosters include the Kingston Practice, the Mid Valley Practice in Jermyn and the Scranton Practice. A patient may choose to receive the booster shot with or without a vital sign assessment and/or primary care office visit, for which out-of-pocket expenses might be billed by the patient’s health insurance provider.

The Wright Center for Community Health, headquartered in Scranton, is a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike that operates eight primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wayne counties.

The Wright Center provides comprehensive primary and preventive health services – including medical, dental, behavioral health, addiction and recovery, and infectious disease services – that cover the lifespan from pediatrics to geriatrics. The Wright Center’s sliding-fee discount program ensures health care is affordable for everyone in need, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. No patient is turned away due to an inability to pay.

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