A pediatrician is about to give a vaccine shot to an African American girl.


Vaccinations for Children Critical During COVID-19

Free vaccinations available at a variety of locations, including UM’s Mobile Pediatric Clinic

The world is waiting for COVID-19 vaccine to rescue it and return it to a recognizable version of its former self. Whether that ever happens, and when, has yet to be seen. But during this prolonged limbo, what is certain is that it is more critical than ever to get your children up-to-date with available vaccinations and keep them as healthy as possible. 

Precisely because Florida and Miami-Dade hospitals are nearing or exceeding capacity, it is crucial to have your children in the best of health and least vulnerable to a host of viruses and diseases that vaccinations prevent. Unfortunately, COVID-19 also scares many parents away from scheduling children for their vaccines and annual check-ups, as they don’t want to risk exposing them during pediatric and health care visits. 

"People are scared to come in," Dr. Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told NPR. "I do a lot of cajoling over the phone to get people to come in for their visits." But in order to prevent outbreaks for other diseases, many of which pose an even more serious threat to children that COVID-19, she said children can’t miss their shots and annual check-ups. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) anticipated and has seen a decrease in vaccinations and is calling for the trend to be reversed:

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the importance of vaccination. The identified declines in routine pediatric vaccine ordering and doses administered might indicate that U.S. children and their communities face increased risks for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Parental concerns about potentially exposing their children to COVID-19 during well child visits might contribute to the declines observed. To the extent that this is the case, reminding parents of the vital need to protect their children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, is critical.”

With Miami-Dade County Public Schools planning for the opening of schools in August – COVID-19 permitting – parents will have to make sure their kids are up to date with their vaccinations or risk not being allowed to go back to school. Even if schools don’t reopen right away, anytime your children are out and about – accompanying you on errands, during playdates and even hanging out with other family members – it is safest to make sure they have all the necessary vaccines.

To help make sure parents schedule their vaccinations a variety of agencies, organizations and health clinics have made getting vaccinations as easy as possible. The Children’s Trust-funded University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic is offering free vaccinations by appointment when you call 305.243.6407. The same mobile clinic offers free COVID-19 testing for children, also by appointment (call 305.243.2059).

The Florida Department of Health offers free immunizations and checkups at clinics in Miami-Dade County. Call 786.845.0550 to make an appointment at the following locations:

West Perrine Center
18255 Homestead Avenue
Miami, FL 33157
Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Little Haiti Health Center
300 NE 80th Terrace
Miami, FL 33138
Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Downtown Clinic
1350 NW 14th Street
Miami, FL 33125
Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

For a complete list of immunization sites in Miami-Dade County visit The Children’s Trust’s Immunization page