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Appointments to vaccinate kids ages 5-11 against the coronavirus are now available in Riverhead through Peconic Bay Medical Center.

The Pfizer vaccines for children will be administered on Sunday at PBMCs Robert Entenmann Campus on West Second Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Visit PBMC’s website to book an appointment.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky issued the recommendation endorsing the vaccine on Tuesday after an advisory committee voted unanimously to support the vaccine for the age group that includes 28 million children in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the drug to be used at a third of the dosage administered to those age 12 and older last week after an independent review found the vaccine was 90.7% effective in preventing the virus and presented no serious side effects.

The Pfizer vaccine is administered in two doses, given three weeks apart.

A greater risk of severe disease for children was recorded this past summer related to the Delta Variant, quintupling the rate of hospitalizations, according to the CDC. The virus’ symptoms can also result in long-term complications, which have been dubbed “long COVID.” 

“Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus that causes COVID-19,”  As a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]