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11/05/2021

Giant to offer COVID-19 shots for younger children

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Giant Food is joining the effort to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19.

Giant Food is the latest retailer to receive approval for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-to-11-years-old.

Giant Food’s pharmacy division is offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) for children ages 5 to 11. The company initially signed up with the Department of Health and Human Services to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations for adults in November 2020.

Due to high demand, only select Giant pharmacies will offer the children’s COVID-19 vaccine. Customers can visit the Giant Food website to find the nearest pharmacy offering pediatric immunizations and to schedule an appointment.

Giant Pharmacy is also currently offering COVID-19 booster vaccinations for all three FDA-approved vaccines. Giant pharmacies are offering the Moderna and Pfizer booster vaccinations at all 152 of their locations, and the Johnson & Johnson booster at select stores. Customers can schedule an appointment or walk in to their local Giant Pharmacy to receive their booster vaccination. Appointments will be prioritized.

Several other retailers are also launching efforts to vaccinate children ages 5-to-11. Albertsons is pledging to support the nationwide effort to vaccinate children for COVID-19 through school clinics. Vaccine appointments for 5 to 11-year-olds will also be available at select Albertsons pharmacies in coming weeks.

[Read More: Albertsons partners with CDC to support kids’ COVID-19 vaccinations]

In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Meijer are getting ready to administer COVID-19 vaccine shots to children in this age group. Walmart and Sam’s Club will administer the Pfizer vaccine to eligible children ages 5 to 11 in more than 5,100 pharmacies nationwide starting later this week as supply allows, while Walgreens and Rite Aid will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 5 to 11 in thousands of stores nationwide beginning Saturday, Nov. 6.

Midwest discounter Meijer will begin administering the first in the Pfizer two-dose series to the latest eligibility group on Nov. 9 by appointment only to start. 

[Read more: Retailers to begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children]

“We are excited to finally be addressing the vaccination needs of pediatric patients, ages 5-to-11-years-old,” said Paul Zvaleny, director of pharmacy operations at Giant Food. “With the most recent approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the CDC and ACIP, we encourage parents and guardians of eligible children to schedule appointments online at select Giant Pharmacy locations.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11. As with adults and adolescents who have been immunized with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, children will need to receive two doses, three weeks apart, to be fully vaccinated.

According to the FDA and CDC, commonly reported side effects in the clinical trial are similar to what’s been seen in adults and other vaccines recommended for children. That could mean a sore arm at the vaccination site, which was the most commonly reported symptom, tiredness, fever or headaches. Side effects were generally mild to moderate in severity and occurred within two days after vaccination, and most went away within one to two days.