News

Now Vaccinating Children Ages 5 to 11
November 02, 2021

St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) will begin providing COVID-19 protection to young children, ages 5-11, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The FDA and CDC have granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for this vaccine in this age group, meaning they can become vaccinated against the virus before Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

The Pfizer vaccine is the first and, thus far, the only COVID vaccine approved for this age group. Separate phase 3 clinical trials completed in this age group showed the vaccine to be safe and comparable in effectiveness to the vaccine for older recipients in previous trials.

According to Jennifer Janco, MD, St. Luke’s Chair of Pediatrics, “Vaccine eligibility for this younger age group will allow us to protect even more children. I, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, fully support this recommendation. With the Delta variant infecting young children with COVID in unprecedented numbers in recent months, vaccinating our children is a critical step in protecting them from the disease and its complications, and also in helping our children continue to participate in school and sports.”

Beginning Wednesday, St. Luke’s will be offering this safe and effective two-shot protection to children at designated “kid-only” locations, through the same scheduling processes that are currently being used for vaccinating adults and older children against COVID.

Janco explains, “The dosing for this age group is 1/3 of the standard, or adult, dose. By providing exclusive locations only for this age group, we ensure that children absolutely receive the appropriate dose.”

These St. Luke’s sites are dedicated ONLY for the 5-11 year-age group. Appointments are required.

  • St. Luke’s West End Medical Center, Allentown
    • Wednesday 5pm – 8pm
    • Saturday 8am – 11am
  • St. Luke’s Wind Gap Medical Center, Wind Gap
    • Thursday 5pm – 8pm
    • Saturday 9am – 12pm
  • St. Luke’s Center Valley Health Center, Center Valley
    • Monday 5pm – 8pm
    • Saturday 9am – 12pm
  • Star Community Health – Sigal Center, Allentown
    • Saturday, November 20 12pm – 3pm
    • Boosters: Saturday, December 11 12pm – 3pm

View up-to-date hours and locations online at Vaccine Kids Locations.

To schedule a vaccination for your child:

  • Call your St. Luke’s pediatrician or family doctor.
  • Call 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 7.
  • Sign in or sign up for St. Luke’s MyChart
    • If your child is 12 or under, you will need to schedule on their behalf by logging into their MyChart account.
    • Need to create a MyChart account for your child? Call your St. Luke’s pediatrician today or call 1-866-STLUKES (785-8537), option 5.

Note: A signed permission slip from the parent /guardian is required for the first vaccine and can be found here, and a parent can have another person bring their child for the vaccine.

Dr. Janco offers some important things to know about this vaccine:

  • This is for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine only at this time.
  • The vaccine is a reduced dose given in two shots three weeks apart. The 5-11 year old dosing is 1/3 of the standard (12+ years old) dose.
  • Separate phase 3 clinical trials completed in this age group showed the vaccine to be safe and comparable in effectiveness to the vaccine for older recipients in previous trials.

“Having an approved safe and effective vaccine for children 5-11 years of age should help parents feel comfortable getting their children vaccinated,” adds Dr. Janco.

As a reminder, children 12-17 years of age and adults who have not yet been vaccinated can still get their COVID vaccine at select St. Luke’s sites. Please check COVID - Vaccine Clinic Locations for our current locations and hours.

“Vaccine studies looking at ages from 6 months through less than 5 years are ongoing,” says Dr. Janco. “We will share that information as soon as it is available; right now timelines suggest that may happen in early 2022.”

For more information, visit: Kids