Houston Health Department now offering free COVID-19 boosters to children age 5 to 11

All children ages 5 to 11 can now receive a free booster shot at all Houston Health Department vaccination sites.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that children in this age group receive a booster shot five months after their initial Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series.

More than 4.8 million children ages 5 through 11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized and, tragically, over 180 have died in the U.S., since the pandemic began.

Vaccine and booster shots provide strong protection against severe disease in kids, and data shows booster shots can effectively restore waning protection.

Common side effects reported in children tend to be mild, temporary, and similar to those experienced by adults. They include injection site pain, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, chills, joint pain, and fever.

Vaccination at health department sites is free and does not require insurance or proof of residency. For information on locations and schedules, visit HoustonHealth.org or call 832-393-4220.

The department offers the shots at its four health centers and several of its multi-service centers. Vaccines are also readily available at doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and clinics.

The department also offers free COVID-19 testing at several multi-service centers that do not require insurance. Some department partner sites require insurance and ID for testing.

The CDC recommends testing to people with symptoms or close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone confirmed with COVID-19.