Ventura, CA – The Pfizer Bio-NTech vaccine has been approved for 5- to 11-year-olds and may be available in Ventura County beginning today. The California Department of Public Health’s vaccine appointment system, MyTurn.CA.gov, will be updated by tomorrow November 4, and that is when the Ventura County Public Health Department will begin offering the vaccine to this age group. Families are encouraged to contact their medical provider for information about the vaccine. “I welcome the authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup and California Department of Public Health of the COVID-19 vaccine for children of five years of age and older. This will protect our children and get us closer to our goal of herd immunity,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for children and adolescents age 5 and up, as a 2-dose series taken 3 weeks apart. The dose for children age 5-11 is one-third of the dosage of the vaccine for older adolescents and adults. It is estimated that there are 72,000 children in this age range in Ventura County.
Vaccination is the best way to protect children age 5 and older from COVID-19. COVID-19 has become one of the top 10 causes of pediatric death, and tens of thousands of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID-19. While children and adolescents are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, it is still possible. 8,850 5- to 11-year-olds have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ventura County.
The vaccine is safe and effective. Before being authorized for children, scientists and medical experts completed their review of safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials of thousands of children. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested and reviewed, and over 11 million adolescents ages 12-17 have already safely received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is another important step forward as we continue getting things back to normal in our schools,” said Dr. César Morales, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “The state mandate for students to be vaccinated to attend school isn’t yet in effect, but it’s never too early to take advantage of the protection offered by the vaccine for everyone who is eligible to receive it.”
As of November 4, anyone age 5 and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Pfizer is approved for ages 5 and older.
- The Moderna and J&J vaccines are approved for ages 18 and older.
It is encouraged that children receive COVID-19 vaccines at their doctor’s office, community clinic or local pharmacy. Residents can visit www.vaccines.gov to find a vaccine site offering vaccines to children over the age of 5, view eligibility information about booster shots, and additional information about COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.
COVID-19 vaccines are offered at over 200 sites in Ventura County by a network of medical offices, community clinics, pharmacies, Public Health clinics and mobile clinics, and approximately half of these sites have confirmed they will offer the vaccine to 5–11-year-olds. Vaccine appointments are recommended especially for this age group and may be made on MyTurn.CA.gov or by calling (833) 422-5255 (available in multiple languages) for scheduling support.
MyTurn displays Public Health operated clinics as well as those from some of the pharmacies and providers. Additional vaccine sites can be found by reviewing the list of Ventura County pharmacies at www.vcrecovers.org or by visiting www.vaccines.gov. Participating pharmacies include Albertsons, Costco and Sam’s Club (membership is not required), CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart.
While most vaccination providers, including pharmacies, accept walk-ins or same-day appointments, parents and caregivers are encouraged to schedule an appointment to assure the provider is offering the vaccine to this new age group.
County Public Health operates vaccination clinics at the following locations. Appointments are also available at MyTurn.CA.gov or call the CA COVID-19 Hotline at 833-422-4255.
- North Oxnard Public Health 2240 E. Gonzales Rd, Suite 140 Oxnard, CA 93036 Walk-in hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; The clinic has added a weekend day to serve 5–11-year-olds. Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vaccine: Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen
- South Oxnard Public Health (Tent in the parking lot, near Las Islas Clinic) 2500 S. C Street, Oxnard CA, 93033 Walk-in hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vaccine: Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen
Public Health also offers mobile clinic events at various sites throughout the county each week. The Ventura County Public Health Department and California Department of Public Health have offered school districts specific clinics for 5–11-year-olds. More information at www.vcrecovers.org.