The Pennyrile District Health Department now offers youth COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children as young as 5, following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Oct. 29.

“We just wanted to create an opportunity in each county for parents who are working and also create an opportunity for students to not to have to miss school to get their shot,” said Grace Donaldson, PDHD administrative specialist.

Each of the five PDHD clinics is offering youth COVID-19 clinics beginning this week.

The Lyon County Health Department, located at 211 West Fairview St. in Eddyville, is hosting COVID-19 clinics for children on Wednesday.

The Livingston County youth clinic was on Monday; Caldwell County youth clinic Tuesday; and the Crittenden and Trigg County clinics are Thursday.

Officials said each youth clinic day will also have extended hours. The health departments will open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m., allowing for vaccinations before and after school and business hours.

PDHD is also partnering with schools to host clinics. The Lyon County School District will be hosting a youth clinic on Nov. 23. Lyon County Health Department staff will be on-site to administer the pediatric doses.

“We want to encourage parents to get their child vaccinated,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson said state officials selected PDHD to participate as a regional redistribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines.

“We will distribute vaccines to those small providers that would like to do vaccinations,” Donaldson said. “It’ll open up more opportunities for other places to do vaccinations.”

Health providers that do not have access to COVID-19 vaccines can visit the Lyon County Health Department to obtain the vaccine after they’ve enrolled in and followed state requirements.

COVID-19 cases among 5- to 11-year-olds make up 39% of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age in the United States, FDA officials said.