FDA and CDC Authorize Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for 5 to 11-Year-Olds, SJBPH and Local Vaccine Providers Prepared with Multiple Pfizer Clinics Planned

(November 3, 2021): San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is pleased to announce 5 to 11-year-olds are now eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in La Plata and Archuleta counties. The public will be able to make appointments for 5 to 11-year-olds for Thursday, November 4th or a later date. The CDC voted unanimously to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds on Tuesday, November 2nd, citing a thorough review process for safety and efficacy.

Youth ages 5 through 17 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. It is important that residents verify the Pfizer vaccine is being offered when signing up minors for COVID-19 vaccine appointments or walking into a clinic. Families have options and are encouraged to either sign up for a community vaccination clinic, contact their pediatrician, or reach out to their preferred vaccine provider. Clinic and provider information is available on the SJBPH website. The public is encouraged to continue checking the SJBPH website for available clinics for 5 to 11-year-olds.

“The eligibility of 5 to 11-year-olds for COVID-19 vaccine is a really positive step for our community, and one that families have been waiting for. We hope that families will take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH Executive Director. “Getting more of our youth vaccinated will help ensure in-person learning is as safe as possible and protect kids in their extracurriculars, sports, and day-to-day lives. SJBPH has been preparing for this moment by ordering pediatric Pfizer doses in advance and coordinating a range of clinics and providers across Archuleta and La Plata counties to meet the needs of families,” Jollon added.

While schools and higher education have worked hard to limit spread of the virus within the classroom setting, ensuring safety in activities both inside and outside of school has been a challenge. Young people have been tremendously resilient throughout the pandemic in the face of obstacles and changes to their daily lives. The expanded vaccine eligibility for 5 to 11-year-olds is a positive development and will help keep young people and their families safe and limit community spread of the virus.

Upcoming community vaccination clinics in La Plata and Archuleta counties offering Pfizer vaccine (additional locations and providers available on the SJBPH website):

Archuleta County

  • Thursday, November 4th from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, Pagosa Springs, 811 San Juan St. Pfizer.
  • Thursday, November 4th from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Pagosa Springs Community Center, Pagosa Springs, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Pfizer.
  • Saturday, November 6th from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Pagosa Springs Middle School, Pagosa Springs, 309 Lewis St. Pfizer.
  • Sunday, November 7th from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Pagosa Springs Middle School, Pagosa Springs, 309 Lewis St. Pfizer.

La Plata County

  • Thursday, November 4th from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango, 2500 Main Ave. Pfizer.
  • Friday, November 5th from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango, 2500 Main Ave. Pfizer.
  • Saturday, November 6th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango, 2500 Main Ave. Pfizer.

Although advance registration is strongly encouraged, walk-ins are also welcome at upcoming clinics. Parents and guardians are required to provide consent for minors to be vaccinated. The vaccine is free, and no ID is required. SJBPH urges families to make appointments as soon as possible since it can take five or more weeks from the date of the first dose of Pfizer to reach full immunity.

It is critical that all residents and youth finish their vaccination series and receive both doses if receiving a two-shot vaccine. Anyone who is overdue for their second dose should find a clinic that matches their original vaccine type, sign up for an appointment, and bring their vaccination record card. Studies have shown completing the two-dose regimen is the best way to ensure protection against the Delta variant of COVID-19. SJBPH urges all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to follow public health precautions such as wearing a properly fitted mask in public indoor settings and washing hands often.

Additional information about the COVID-19 vaccine, boosters, and links to make appointments from other vaccine providers offering Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer clinics, can be found on SJBPH’s website: https://sjbpublichealth.org/covid-19-vaccine/.