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The First Day of School Will Be Here Before We Know It

From Dr. Stephanie Stovall, Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician and Interim Chief of Quality & Patient Safety for Lee Health.

I know kids are really excited to go back.

And I know some parents still have questions about the best time to vaccinate their child.

The School District of Lee County’s first day of school is August 10. If you have a child 12 years old or older and they haven’t yet been vaccinated, they need to get their vaccine immediately to have some protection before school starts.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for use in those 12 years-old and above, and it requires two doses, 21 days apart. You are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after your second dose in a 2-dose series.

If your child got their first shot today and their second shot 21 days later, they would be considered fully vaccinated by August 24th. However, they would still have some protection against COVID-19 for the start of school. Some studies have described varying degrees of protection from 50-70% with only one dose of the Pfizer vaccine though two doses have been shown to be highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

Two doses are required to be fully vaccinated, so please make sure to take your child back to get their second dose.

I encourage you to vaccinate your child as soon as possible. It’s very important to get kids the protection they need against COVID-19 before they go back to school. The vaccine is our best defense against COVID-19, especially the highly-contagious Delta variant that’s circulating. If you are not fully vaccinated, your risk is higher for hospitalization and severe disease with this variant.

There are several ways for you to get yourself and your child vaccinated for COVID-19. Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic is making stops around Southwest Florida today to vaccinate children 12 years-old and older for COVID-19. The Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic is walk-up only, and there is no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Tuesday, July 20, 8:30-11:30 a.m., Bonita Springs Middle Center for the Arts, 10141 W. Terry St., Bonita Springs *This stop is primarily for 2nd doses, however, 1st doses will be provided to those who would like them. Anyone who receives a 1st dose at this location may have to attend another site for their 2nd dose.
  • Tuesday, July 20, 4-6:30 p.m., Suncoast Estates, 2241 Case Lane, North Fort Myers

A parent or authorized guardian must accompany a minor for vaccination. The second dose will be set for the same location or one nearby.

Also, Lee Health offers a Community Vaccination Clinic, which is at Gulf Coast Medical Center. You can schedule a vaccination appointment at or just walk-in. The vaccination clinic is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.