Riley County Health officials are encouraging parents to get their children up-to-date with recommended vaccines and boosters, with FDA and CDC guidance rolling out in the past week authorizing the use of a single Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine booster dose for kids ages 5 through 11.

Children in that age range are now eligible to receive a booster if five months have passed since a previous vaccine dose. Currently, Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine authorized for young kids.

Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs says Summer is a great time to get caught up on immunizations, saying over 18 million doses of Pfizer vaccine have been administered to kids 5 to 11 nationally.

Vaccines and other immunizations are available at the Health Department Clinic at 2030 Tecumseh Road. Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments can be made in advance as well. Parents or legal guardians must be present, and the COVID vaccine is available at no charge.

Riley County also saw 26 new COVID cases between May 7 and May 13. That brings the total number of reported cases in the county since the pandemic began to 13,740 not including at-home test results. As of Friday, no COVID-positive patients are receiving treatment at Ascension Via Christi Hospital.