Health Department to host school immunization clinic Tuesday

The Stanly County Health Department will have a school immunization clinic Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. where students will be able to get a host of different shots, including the Pfizer Covid vaccine recently approved for kids ages 5-11.

In addition to getting the Covid shot, the other immunizations that will be available include DTap, Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b or Hib, MMR, Hepatitis B, Tdap, Varicella, Pneumococcal Conjugate and Meningococcal Conjugate.

The immunizations, aside from the Covid shot, are all required for students by state law. Students have until Nov. 30 to get the school immunizations.

No insurance is needed for the clinic and children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or have a letter of consent. To make an appointment, call 704-982-9171.

“We hope this evening clinic helps parents who are unable to take time off from work to get their children immunized,” said Wendy Growcock, public health education specialist with the health department.

With only about 40 percent of the total population in Stanly fully vaccinated, administering the Covid vaccine to young people will help improve the rate, health officials said.

“The bottom line is that children are part of the COVID chain of transmission, ” said Doshia F. Swaringen, human services program specialist with the health department. “The more people that are vaccinated in our community, the less that will get sick and less opportunity for the virus to mutate. Vaccinations for this age group are an essential layer of protection to keep our children healthy and in school, which in turn helps our families and community stay healthy and brings us one step closer to an end to this pandemic.”

Aside from the clinic, the health department is administering shots to young children Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It administered 26 vaccines to children 5-11 last Friday and a similar number were scheduled to receive the vaccine today, Growcock said. All told, 39 children have received the first Pfizer dose, according to state health data, which accounts for about one percent of the total 5-11 population in the county.

Data from Pfizer showed that the vaccine had a 90.7 percent efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in a clinical trial of children 5-11. The Pfizer dose for younger children is one-third the strength given to people 12 and older, with two shots given three weeks apart.

There are several other local vaccine providers in the area administering shots. People can visit www.vaccines.gov to search by zip code for locations that provide Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11, as well as other Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.