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When can Reno County kids get the Pfizer vaccine?

Coronavirus in Kansas

FILE – This Jan. 24, 2021, file photo shows a vial of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 in Seattle. U.S. regulators on Monday, May 10, 2021, expanded use of Pfizer’s shot to those as young as 12, sparking a race to protect middle and high school students before they head back to class in the fall. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Reno County Health Department, 209 W. 2nd, plans to receive a shipment of Pfizer vaccine this week and will open availability to ages 12 and over starting Thursday, May 20.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced last week that Kansas providers could begin offering the vaccine to the younger age group. This followed the expansion of the emergency use authorization by the FDA, and approval by the CDC.

The department said 3.8 million children have been infected with the COVID virus since the beginning of the pandemic. For the week ending May 6, children accounted for 24 percent of new cases in the United States, per the American Academy of Pediatrics.  New variants of the strain have been shown to be more easily transmissible, with the UK strain now identified in several cases in Reno County.

The health department will have extended hours on Thursday, May 20 for vaccinations. RCHD will be open until 8 p.m. and have Pfizer vaccine available for anyone over 12 years of age, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for anyone over 18. No appointment is necessary. Those under 18 will need parent or guardian approval.

The department also accepts walk-ins during normal operating hours, which are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The vaccine is free, regardless of citizenship status or insurance, anywhere it is offered. To check the availability of vaccines and locations, visit vaccinefinder.org. For more information on the vaccine, click here.

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