NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for 5 to 11-year-olds could potentially be available here in western Massachusetts as soon as next week.

The FDA announced yesterday that it had authorized the emergency use, saying that children in this age group can get a booster shot at least five months after they’ve received the primary two doses.

22News spoke with a public health nurse for the Northampton Health Department. They told us that they will order the pediatric vaccines as soon as they get the final approval from the CDC and the state’s Department of Public Health.

“The long-term consequences of COVID seem to be much worse than any brief side effects of the vaccine. We saw more hospitalizations with omicron than delta. So some kids are actually getting sicker. It does seem that booster doses of Pfizer and Moderna have thus far have really kept people including children out of the hospital,” said Kate Kelly, Public Health Nurse at Northampton Health Department.

If you are in the Northampton area, a vaccine clinic will re-open outside of Northampton High School next Wednesday, May 25th, and starting in June it will be open Mondays and Thursdays.