Baltimore will begin holding youth coronavirus vaccination clinics to vaccinate children ages 5-11 following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the vaccine, city officials announced Thursday.
The clinics, like many the city has held previously for adults, will be located in areas of Baltimore where vaccination rates are lowest, said Letitia Dzirasa, the city’s health commissioner. No appointment is necessary, however visitors should expect to wait in lines in case demand is high, she said. A parent or guardian must accompany a minor to be vaccinated.
Clinics currently scheduled for next week include:
- Tuesday Nov. 9 at Dickey Hill Elementary/Middle School, 5025 Dickey Hill Road, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday Nov. 10 at Digital Harbor High School, 1100 Covington St., 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Thursday Nov. 11 at Access Art, 2446 Washington Blvd., 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
- Saturday at NAACP, 4805 Mt. Hope Drive, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Vaccinations will also be offered through city schools as an expansion of a program already offered to city adolescents ages 12 and older. As of Thursday, about 20,000 city adolescents had already received a coronavirus vaccine, Mayor Brandon Scott said. There are approximately 80,000 students enrolled in Baltimore schools.
City officials have set a goal of getting 80% of the city’s youth vaccinated by September 2022, Dzirasa said. Thus far, the city has received 2,000 doses of the youth vaccine from the state and more are anticipated.
Some doses will be distributed to smaller city pediatricians, she said. Larger pediatricians can request doses from the state.
The Pfizer vaccine is currently the only one approved for children under the age of 12. Pfizer’s youth vaccines contain one-third of the adult dose.
Currently, 69.6% of Baltimore residents 12 and over have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Dzirasa said Thursday that Baltimore is not yet prepared to lift its indoor mask requirement in spite of improving coronavirus statistics. As it did when the mask order was enacted in August, Baltimore still has a coronavirus transmission rate ranked as “substantial” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (Like much of the rest of the state, Baltimore’s transmission rate spiked to “high” for a period before decreasing.)
Dzirasa said she would like to see more “significant declines” in the transmission rate before considering lifting the mandate. She said she is also considering the city’s case rate, deaths as a result of the virus and the percentage of the population that is vaccinated in her decision.