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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Here's how to schedule COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 and older in Mecklenburg County

An Atrium Health worker unpacks pediatric Pfizer vaccine doses.
Atrium Health
An Atrium Health worker unpacks pediatric Pfizer vaccine doses.

Children ages 5 to 11 in Mecklenburg County can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as early as Wednesday, following federal health officials’ approval of the Pfizer vaccine for that age group Tuesday.

The pediatric vaccine dose is one-third of the dose given to older children and adults and, like the adult dose, is given in two shots roughly three weeks apart. Children who receive the shot may experience some side effects including chills, a low-grade fever and body aches.

Even though children are less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, it’s still important for them to get vaccinated, said Dr. Amina Ahmed with Atrium Health. She said that roughly 1 in every 1,000 to 2,000 children that contract COVID-19 are diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, an uncommon condition where body parts like the heart, lungs and kidneys can become inflamed. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but most children who were diagnosed improved with medical care.

Ahmed said children with mild or no COVID-19 symptoms can also be what she called “silent spreaders” of the coronavirus — infecting adults, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly.

“To be able to break the cycle and end this pandemic, we really have to get up to close to 70% vaccination or immunity at the same time,” Ahmed told reporters on Wednesday. “And we’re not going to be able to accomplish that without vaccinating children.”

Mecklenburg County received its first shipment of 13,500 vaccine doses on Tuesday, which it plans to distribute to health care providers across the county.

Here is when and where the shots will be available:

Atrium Health

The Charlotte-based hospital system said on Wednesday it planned to offer pediatric vaccines “by appointment only” through its pediatric and primary care offices “in the coming days.” Visit Atrium’s website or call your child’s health care provider for more information.

Mecklenburg County Public Health

The county’s health department will start offering vaccines for those 5 and older Thursday, Nov. 4 at noon at the Southeast Health Department (249 Billingsley Rd. in Charlotte) and Northwest Health Department (2845 Beatties Ford Rd. in Charlotte).

It will also administer shots starting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Valerie C. Woodard Center (3205 Freedom Dr. in Charlotte).

More information here.

Novant Health

Novant will begin offering vaccines for younger children on Thursday, Nov. 4 at East Mecklenburg Clinic (6070 East Independence Blvd.).

More information on Novant vaccines.


StarMed will have pediatric vaccines starting Thursday, Nov. 4 at all of its locations. More information and appointment scheduling is available here.


Vax Clinic will offer COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 and older on Wednesday, Nov. 3 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church (1000 E. Morehead St. in Charlotte), according to a news release from the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.