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Austin Public Health now offering COVID-19 vaccine boosters for kids 5 and older

The CDC recommends booster doses for children ages five to 11 years old five months after completing their primary vaccine series.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Public Health is now offering COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to everyone five years old and older. The agency made the announcement on Friday.

The CDC recommends booster doses for children ages five to 11 years old five months after completing their primary vaccine series. The Pfizer vaccine is the only option currently authorized for children.

"Expanding access to boosters to more age groups is critical in our fight against COVID-19 and its variants," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "This booster will give children the protection they need and will help keep them out of the hospital."

The Pfizer booster is available for 5- to 11-year-old children at APH's Old Sims Elementary vaccine clinic and at both Shots for Tots clinics.

Pfizer announced Monday that three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine offer strong protection for children younger than five. However, the 18 million U.S. children under five are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Pfizer said it plans to give its new data to regulators later this week in a step toward letting the nation's littlest kids get the shots.

The CDC now recommends mRNA booster doses for everyone 50 years old and older. The CDC says additional booster doses help increase protection from COVID-19 and reduce the chance of needing to go to the hospital.

You can find vaccine providers using Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.gov in Spanish) or by texting your ZIP code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.

APH clinics offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations without an appointment, although creating an account online in advance saves time. COVID-19 vaccinations are free and require neither identification nor insurance. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 or visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.

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