Flint, MI— Families are invited to attend a free Family Vaccine Day on Jan.22 where children and adults can get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.

Hosted by Hamilton Community Health Network, the event will take place from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  at Hamilton’s Main clinic located at 2900 N. Saginaw St. in Flint.

Several community partners will be there with snacks and fun activities to distract children from getting poked, including HAP, The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, and the Flint Area Links.

“With the virus’s continual mutations and increased contagion level, we need to protect each other, especially our children,” Hamilton’s Pediatrician Shaheen Sheik said in a news release.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a pediatric vaccine for children ages 5-11 on Nov. 3, 2021.

The pediatric vaccine contains a lower dose of messenger RNA, 10 micrograms compared to the 30 micrograms for individuals over the age of 12. It is administered as a two-dose primary series, three weeks apart.

Currently, Pfizer is the only approved brand for children between the ages of 5-11 and there is no vaccine available for children younger than five.

Sheik said that COVID has had a strong effect on children’s mental health.

“Many children are anxious about coming down with COVID or their parents developing it. COVID-19 can affect children beyond getting sick, as many children’s overall well-being has been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” Sheik said.

She recommends adults help children by making them “feel a sense of control” by encouraging them to take action. That can mean anything from wearing a mask, social distancing or getting vaccinated.  

Family Vaccination Day is completely free and open to the public. Appointments are not available and early attendance is encouraged as supplies are limited.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...