GREENSBURG — As of Nov. 2, the CDC has unanimously endorsed the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age.

Decatur County Memorial Hospital will begin offering the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine to children in that age group beginning Monday, November 8.

Families can schedule the vaccine at or by calling (812) 222-DOCS. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

The vaccinations will be available in the COVID Vaccination Clinic at the hospital and at Decatur County Primary Care, 718 N. Lincoln Street, and Medical Arts Plaza, 955 N. Michigan Avenue.

COVID Vaccination Clinic hours at DCMH are (enter through door #7):

Monday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Although the virus was initially thought to not affect young people as harshly, the spread of the Delta variant has resulted in more frequent hospitalizations among children and adolescents, increased complications of “long COVID,” and even death.

According to the CDC, during a 6-week period from late June to the middle of August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents in the United States increased fivefold.

The approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination for children is nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19, similar to the effectiveness in adult clinical trials. Also like adults and adolescents, the COVID-19 vaccine side effects for children are mild and limited to the vaccinated individual. The most commonly seen side effect is a sore arm, much like the mild effects of other vaccines recommended for children.

COVID-19 vaccines, including those for children, are safe, with the most intensive monitoring in U.S. history. Vaccinating your child aged 5 to 11 will help protect them from getting COVID-19, reducing their risk of long-term complications or hospitalization.

Vaccinations also help reduce disruptions to in-person attendance of school and other activities.

Daily News readers outside the Greensburg area are encouraged to contact the hospital serving their community for updated information regarding COVID-19 vaccines for children.

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