When and where can kids under 12 get their COVID-19 vaccine?

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Any day now the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 will be approved by the CDC, but many parents are now asking – where can they get their kids vaccinated?

The New Mexico Department of Health said Monday the short answer is: Children will be able to go to many of the same places adults got their vaccine, it all depends on what the parents are comfortable with.

“Local drug stores, primary care physicians, an urgent care, places like that. It’s not just going to be public health offices,” NMDOH Media Manager David Morgan said.

The NMDOH wants to provide plenty of choices for parents to go get their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Families can even get children registered for the vaccine on the state’s website.

“We just recently added the ability for people to add their children and their dependents so their children are listed under them as also vaccinated,” Morgan said.

Once a child or dependent is registered, their guardian will get a text telling them when they will be able to schedule an appointment. It’s not just the NMDOH gearing up for children’s vaccines, local pediatricians are gearing up too.

“I think a lot of us a very happy to be able to start targeting this age group especially with the holidays coming up,” Pediatrician Alex Cvijanovicj said.

Once they get approval, health professionals want to give out as many shots as possible, as soon as possible.

“We will be doing them whenever we can,” Cvijanovicj said, “So if a child is coming in for a child check and the parents are interested in the vaccine, as soon as we have it available we will certainly do that so hopefully in the next few days we will be able to incorporate that.”

But even if there aren’t any appointments at a nearby pediatrician’s office, there are going to be many other options.

“If it is available somewhere else sooner, or more convenient for the family, we are happy to talk to the parents and if they want to get it somewhere else they can do that,” Cvijanovicj said.

“We are trying to keep the door open as wide as we can to be able to get every young person vaccinated as fast as we can,” Morgan said.