How to find a covid vaccine for a 5-to-11-year-old in the D.C. region

A child receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination clinic at an elementary school in San Jose on Nov. 4, 2021. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News)

Federal public health officials late Tuesday cleared the way for children ages 5 to 11 to be vaccinated against coronavirus. White House officials have said they secured enough vaccine for all 28 million eligible children in the United States, but it will take some time for doses to find their way to and into arms.

Many families are eager to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, especially as Thanksgiving and the winter holiday travel season approach. In response to the high interest in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, officials are working double-time to get vaccines to pediatricians’ offices, schools, pharmacies and mass vaccination sites.

Many caretakers, however, have questions about vaccine side effects, safety and the vaccine authorization process. Pediatricians and trusted messengers are trying to address these concerns, especially in communities affected at disproportionately higher levels by the pandemic, which is in its 19th month.