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Where will 5 to 11-year-olds be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine in San Antonio?

Several options will be available once the vaccination is approved for this age group, which is expected as early as November 3.

SAN ANTONIO — A big question many families have is: Where will 5- to 11-year-olds be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine in San Antonio? Here's what we found (and we will continue to update this story as we learn more).

Although pediatrician offices are allowed to give the shot, many do not in larger cities, like San Antonio – so that means tracking down a clinic.

When children ages 12 and up were approved to receive the vaccine, local mass vaccination sites began welcoming them to receive the shots. Sites like the Alamodome (through Metro Health), Wonderland of the Americas (University Health) and pharmacies are all expected to do the same. It's not clear if appointments will be required since people are currently allowed to walk in.

Also, in the last go-around, some local school districts held pop-up clinics. We reached out to several districts for more information. Northside Independent School District said there are no finalized plans as of now, but they will share information once they have it. San Antonio ISD told KENS 5 they are coordinating clinics and will provide those dates and locations soon. North East ISD said it's already working with Metro Health to schedule vaccine clinics in mid-November. Parent permission, of course, would be required for all vaccines.

"Research shows these new vaccines are remarkably effective and safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges children and adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can," James D. Campbell, MD, MS, FAAP said. "The vaccines are especially important now with the rise in cases caused by the Delta variant of the virus. This strain is more contagious, spreading at alarming rates and infecting more children."

The government has purchased enough doses to give two shots to all 28 million who will soon be eligible. And up to 20 million doses will be available the first week, a federal health official said.

Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus coordinator told CNN on Thursday: “We’re working with states to set up convenient locations for parents and kids to get vaccinated, including pediatricians’ offices and community sites.”

But the government will initially distribute only a portion of the 65 million doses it has purchased, according to a senior federal health official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share planning discussions.

As for side effects, the Mayo Clinic said the side effects for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and up were similar to those experienced by people 16 and older. The most commonly reported ones include:

  • Pain where the shot was given
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Joint pain

Similar to adults, children have side effects that typically last one to three days. More adolescents reported these side effects, except for injection site pain, after the second dose of the vaccine. However, many people have no side effects.

After your child is given a COVID-19 vaccine, he or she will be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes to see if he or she has an allergic reaction that requires treatment.

Experts do not recommend giving your child an over-the-counter pain reliever before their vaccination to prevent side effects. But, it is alright to give it afterward.