Black Doctors Consortium to offer COVID-19 vaccine for kids, pending CDC approval

The reception area at the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity

The reception area at the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity in North Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week issued an emergency use authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent advisory committee is meeting this week, and will soon vote on whether to recommend the vaccine for younger children.

Once CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gives her approval, 5- to 11-year-olds will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine immediately.

In Philadelphia, the Black Doctors Consortium’s primary care clinic says it is prepared.

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Beginning Thursday — pending approval from the CDC — children ages 5 to 17 may be vaccinated at the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity (ASHE).

Located in North Philadelphia, ASHE is in the north wing of Deliverance Evangelistic Church on Lehigh Avenue.

The clinic marks an expansion of services provided by the consortium, which was founded by Dr. Ala Stanford at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to bring coronavirus testing to Philly’s most vulnerable residents.

A few months into the pandemic, Stanford said she recognized the need for consistent access to health care beyond COVID-19 testing for Philadelphia’s underserved, predominantly Black communities.

Since April 2020, the consortium says it has tested more than 25,000 people for COVID-19, and vaccinated more than 50,000 Philadelphians.

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Outside of providing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, the clinic will offer flu shots, wellness checkups, mental health care, X-rays, and blood draws for lab tests.

ASHE, whose grand opening is Wednesday, Nov. 3, will accept all forms of insurance and will provide care on a sliding scale for people who are uninsured.

Families can register for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for eligible children online. ASHE is currently promoting kids vaccine clinics to be held Thursday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 6, from noon to 4 p.m., by appointment only.

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