The Wright Center for Community Health administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine boosters for ages 5 to 11
The Wright Center for Community Health is now administering booster doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, per the guidelines approved last week by federal regulators.
Youngsters in that age group who completed their two-dose primary series with the same vaccine at least five months ago can be scheduled for an appointment at one of these Wright Center primary care clinics:
- Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn: 570.230.0019
- Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., Scranton: 570.941.0630
- South Franklin Street Practice, 335 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre: 570.591.5283
Patients are encouraged to schedule appointments online by visiting TheWrightCenter.org.
The COVID-19 virus, which emerged in December 2019 and then spawned several variants, remains a risk this month even as area residents look forward to the summer vacation season.
“COVID-19 cases are again rising in Northeast Pennsylvania, with community levels reported as ‘high’ today in Luzerne, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties,” said Dr. Jignesh Sheth, chief medical officer of The Wright Center for Community Health. “Lackawanna and Wayne counties also have been at the ‘high’ level lately.
“Preventive measures such as vaccination and mask-wearing remain our best defense against this pandemic, which has caused so much needless suffering,” he said.
Young children – while not as likely as adults to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms – were getting sick with the potentially fatal disease in greater numbers as the omicron variant swept the nation over the winter holiday season. More children required hospitalization, too. Even some youngsters who initially experienced only mild bouts of coronavirus disease reportedly continue to cope with long-term effects.
Pfizer earlier this year submitted company data for the government’s review, showing that a third vaccine dose among the 5- to 11-year-old age group raised omicron-fighting antibodies by 36 times.
The Wright Center administers kid-sized doses (one-third the amount of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine given to teens and adults) to young children, which is in accordance with public health recommendations.
Dr. Jignesh Y. Sheth,
Chief Medical Officer
The safety of the booster dose was assessed in about 400 children, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The most commonly reported side effects included pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, muscle or joint pain and chills.
Under the latest U.S. health guidance, anyone 5 and older is now eligible for at least one booster dose. People who are 50 and older are eligible for two booster doses.