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COVID-19

Yellowstone County rolling out COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11

Ahead of FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, employers are weighing whether to impose vaccine mandates.

Montana’s most populous county will roll out COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 beginning this weekend after the CDC approved it on Tuesday.

Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton says children have a lower — but not a zero — chance of exhibiting severe symptoms or dying from COVID-19, and they still contribute to community spread.

“The more of those children get vaccinated," Felton said, "the safer it will be for not only their family members but also their teachers and also school staff necessary to keep schools open."

He says RiverStone Health doesn’t know yet how many pediatric doses are coming its way, but the Pfizer vaccine will be available through pediatricians and through vaccination clinics RiverStone plans to hold later this month.

Felton says families can bring their children for their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine at Billings’ Metrapark this Saturday, Nov. 13, and on Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. RiverStone will hold clinics for children’s second doses three weeks later on Dec. 4 and 11.