A Community Clinic

UC Santa Barbara will offer free vaccines to young children at an event in July

As a service to its own families and to the broader community beyond the campus, UC Santa Barbara's Early Childhood Care and Education Services will host a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic for all children 6 months to 11 years old. The event is open to the public, and no ID or insurance is required.

The university is partnering with the California Department of Public Health to provide the free Moderna vaccines. The entire effort is supported by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

The clinic will take place at the Orfalea Family Children's Center, 900 West Campus Lane. The first dose will be administered July 27 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.; second doses will be given August 24 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registering online in advance at myturn.gov is recommended to minimize wait time, but walk-ins will also be accepted.

“Millions of parents — including our parents at the UCSB Children's Centers with children under 5 years of age— have been waiting anxiously for the COVID-19 vaccines to be available for young children,” said Annette Suding Muse, director of Early Childhood Care and Education. “We are pleased to be able to partner with the California Department of Public Health to host the vaccine event for children throughout the community. The vaccine is free, safe and effective.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently expanded the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans over the age of 6 months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals aged 6 months to 5 years old get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination will decrease a child’s chances of severe infection, hospitalization and long COVID, just as it does for adults.

The vaccines are the culmination of decades of research that finally came to fruition with the extra funding provided in response to the pandemic. They work by priming the body to recognize and deal with the new virus SARS-CoV-2, to which no one had any immunity. In this way, they have prevented an untold number of people from developing severe cases of COVID-19.

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