DEERFIELD, Ill., November 03, 2021 - Walgreens will begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 in thousands of stores nationwide beginning Saturday, Nov. 6. This follows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for this population. The recommendation of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for this age group comes as children are at least as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults are and at risk of severe illness.1 As many families prepare to travel and gather for the holidays, and COVID-19 variants continue to emerge, individuals including children are at high risk to contract and spread COVID-19 and experience more severe symptoms.2
Ahead of the first vaccine shipments scheduled to arrive at select pharmacies later this week, parents or legal guardians can schedule appointments starting today. Appointments will be available beginning Saturday and can be made at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens. More appointments will be available in the coming weeks as Walgreens receives additional vaccine.
Walgreens pharmacy team members have administered approximately 45 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date. In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to administer recommended vaccinations to children ages 3 and older. In that time, Walgreens has administered over 300,000 flu immunizations to children ages 5 to 11.
“Walgreens pharmacy team members have significant experience vaccinating children and adolescents, and are ready to immunize this newly eligible population safely and as quickly as possible,” said Kevin Ban, M.D., chief medical officer, Walgreens. “The COVID-19 vaccine is just as important to protect children as other routine immunizations are, and the expanded eligibility will help children stay in school safely and prevent severe illness due to COVID-19.”
Approximately 40 percent of Walgreens stores offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 are located in areas with a high Social Vulnerability Index score. Research suggests COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the health of Black and Hispanic children3 who often reside in these areas, making this next milestone in vaccinating children critically important.
Based on the new CDC guidance, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children is deemed safe and highly effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections in young children with a 90 percent efficacy rate.4 The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children is a pediatric-specific formulation and dose compared to the vaccine adults and adolescents receive. Similar to current recommendations for Pfizer recipients ages 12 and up, the CDC recommends a second dose of the vaccine at least three weeks following an initial dose to complete the vaccination series for full protection.
What Parents and Guardians Need to Know
- Appointments are highly encouraged. Vaccinations for 5 to 11-year-olds will be available at select Walgreens locations, so parents or guardians are highly encouraged to make appointments for this age group to ensure the best experience. Appointments can be scheduled through Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.
- Appointment times accommodate family schedules. Appointments are available to accommodate after-school hours with select stores offering additional appointments on Saturdays through November 20.
- Date of birth needed to confirm eligibility. Parents or legal guardians scheduling an appointment will need to enter the birthdate of the patient to be vaccinated to ensure eligible patients receive the appropriate vaccine. Once confirmed, the scheduler will guide customers to stores where vaccines are available for this age group.
- A parent or guardian must be present. Due to privacy regulations, all children must have a parent or legal guardian schedule an appointment on their behalf using Walgreens online guest scheduling capabilities, and a parent or legal guardian must be present at the time of vaccination.
- Children can receive a flu shot at the same time. Just as with adults and adolescents, children ages 5 to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot in a single visit to save a trip and help reduce community spread of respiratory illnesses.
- Pharmacy teams are ready to support families during the visit. As with all COVID-19 vaccine administration, there will be a 15-minute observation period. To help pass the time, stores will have activity sheets and stickers available, plus the opportunity to print a free 5x7 photo capturing this important moment of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Tootsie Roll Industries has donated Tootsie Pops to make the experience a little sweeter.
A Legacy of Supporting Children’s Health Needs
Walgreens has long supported children’s health needs by filling prescriptions for millions of children every day and administering routine vaccinations like flu shots. By partnering with programs such as Get a Shot. Give a Shot., Red Nose Day, Vitamin Angels and launching a pediatric asthma education initiative in Chicago and Texas, Walgreens has helped children live healthier lives both locally and around the world.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is included in the United States segment of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), an integrated pharmacy, healthcare and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities. As America’s most loved pharmacy, health and beauty company, Walgreens purpose is to champion the health and well-being of every community in America. Operating nearly 9,000 retail locations across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Walgreens is proud to be a neighborhood health destination serving approximately 9 million customers each day. Walgreens pharmacists play a critical role in the U.S. healthcare system by providing a wide range of pharmacy and healthcare services. To best meet the needs of customers and patients, Walgreens offers a true omnichannel experience, with fully integrated physical and digital platforms supported by the latest technology to deliver high-quality products and services in local communities nationwide.
1 Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Children aged 5 – 11 Years | CDC
2 Children and the Spread of COVID-19 | Harvard Medical School
3 Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts and Vaccinations for Children | KFF
4 FDA Advisory Committee Votes in Favor of Granting Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in Children 5 to <12 Years
Walgreens Media Relations