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Harford County plans to open two pediatric COVID vaccine clinics next week

The Harford County health department announced Wednesday it will host two COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children ages 5 to 11 later this month.

U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids on Tuesday after it was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Patients can receive first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Nov. 10 between 3 and 7 p.m. at the Harford County Health Department headquarters at 1321 Woodbridge Station Way in Edgewood; second doses will be administered on Dec. 1 between 3 and 7: p.m.

The second clinic will take place on Nov. 12 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Patterson Mill Middle and High schools, located at 85 Patterson Mill Dr. in Bel Air; second doses for this clinic will be administered on Dec. 4 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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Vaccines for children aged 12 to 18 will also be available at the latter clinic date.

Children must be registered in advance to receive the vaccine at either clinic, and adults are not permitted to receive vaccinations at either location.

Any child receiving the vaccine must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who must provide written consent upon registering the child; adults can preregister online at MarylandVax.org.

Accompanying adults will be required to provide a means of identification at the vaccination sites.

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The Harford County Public Schools issued a statement in response to the announcement. “We thank the Harford County Health Department for making vaccine clinics available to children aged 5-11..”

In a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan said more than 180,000 doses of the vaccine will be distributed throughout the state for this age range.

The main goal of vaccination education efforts is to “make sure that parents have all of the information they need to make the best informed decision for their family, because ultimately this decision is up to — and should be left to — Maryland parents and families,” Hogan said.

As for Thursday, 20,949 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Harford County. There have been a total of 351 deaths in the county connected to the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harford County is at substantial transmission level. The CDC’s most recent data reported 93.96 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in Harford for the last seven days that ended Thursday. It takes more than 100 cases per 100,000 to be classified as high and at least 50 to be classified as having substantial transmission.

According to the CDC, transmission levels in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Worcester and Queen Anne’s counties and Baltimore City were also listed as substantial on Wednesday while Howard County maintained a moderate transmission status. The rest of the state remains at high transmission.

In Harford County schools, 718 students have tested positive to COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year, according to data on the HCPS site.

As of Thursday, 583 HCPS students and 66 staff members are in isolation, meaning they were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection or symptomatic awaiting test results. And 449 students and 17 staff members are in quarantine, defined as persons excluded from school and placed on quarantine due to close contact with a person with COVID-19 infection in the school or reported from outside of the school.

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