HONOLULU(KHON2) — The Bivalent booster could be available for kids 5 to 11 years old as early as Thanksgiving according to health experts. And the health department said there is ample supply of the vaccine available for those who want it.

The Department of Health spokesperson, Brooks Baehr, said kids as young as 5-years-old will soon be cleared to get the COVID Bivalent booster.

“Just this week, we placed a pre order for 14,000 doses of the Bivalent booster made by Pfizer that we expect to be authorized for children ages five through 11 very soon,” explained Baehr.

He said as soon as the FDA approves it, those doses will be on the way.

“We expect that to happen actually within just a few weeks,” said Hilton Raethel, Healthcare Association of Hawaii President.

“(The FDA) have applied for emergency use authorization. And so that means potentially even before Thanksgiving that will be available for that age group.”

The booster is currently available at hundreds of locations on Oahu making it easy for those who are eligible to get it, which includes all adults and kids age 12 and older.

“Most of the drugstores, CVS, Walgreens, even Safeway do have the boosters available,” Raethel said.

According to DOH data, local pharmacies and clinics have received more than 236,300 doses to date and only 81,601 shots have been administered. That means there are still 154,699 available doses.

“There’s actually a bigger supply than there is demand right now and we would like for more people to be actually getting their booster shots,” Raethel explained.

Queen’s Medical Center is coordinating a free mobile clinic at the Palama Settlement 125th Anniversary Celebration event at 810 N. Vineyard Blvd., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Appointments are not required but pre-registering is recommended. Click here to register or contact Lani Davis at ldavis@palamasettlement.org for more information.

Common side effects of the booster include pain and swelling on the arm where the shot was given, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.

“But within a day or two, those side effects as we all know, disappear,” Baehr said. “And from then on, you’ve got that added protection.”

There are concerns there could be another COVID surge in the coming months.

“The experts have been saying for quite some time that we may well see an upswing in cases in the fall and going into the winter,” Baehr explained.

To find locations that offer the booster and to book an appointment click here.