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Local organizations create free COVID safety kits to protect families

The Children's Board of Hillsborough County and Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay are pushing to keep younger kids safe as the vaccine is tested.

TAMPA, Fla. — We've almost been in the COVID-19 pandemic for two years. Throughout it, we've learned the best way to stay safe is getting the vaccine but for many children, that's not possible yet.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is only available to kids 12 years or older.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to meet on Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer-BioNTech's data and request to approve the vaccine for kids five to 11 years old. Until the vaccine is approved for children, they're still at risk of getting sick from the virus.

"We believe everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home and a safe and healthy community, so we're proud to offer these kits for free to make health more equitable," said Kaitlyn French, the director of the safe and healthy homes initiative at Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay.

The best thing you can do to protect your kids is to practice handwashing and to have them wear a mask. 

Buying all the supplies to keep them protected can add up, which is why the Children's Board of Hillsborough County and Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay have come together to create free COVID-19 safety kits for Hillsborough County families.

The kits contain masks, hand sanitizer in small and large sizes, soap, a thermometer and other supplies. 

They can be picked up at any Children's Board location starting Wednesday, Oct. 13. All you have to do is share your name with staff at the front desk and you will be able to take a kit home.

"There's a total of 3,500 kits so we will have 500 at every Children's Board location. They're available on a first-come-first-served basis," explained Dexter Lewis, director of public relations at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County.

The Children's Board used emergency COVID funding to put together the kits. 

Children's Board of Hillsborough County locations

Brandon

1271 Kingsway Road
Brandon, FL 33510 

Central Tampa

1002 East Palm Avenue
Tampa, FL 33605 

North Tampa

116 West Fletcher Avenue
Tampa, FL 33612

Plant City

301 North Palmer Street

Plant City, FL 33563

Ruskin

3030 East College Avenue
Ruskin, FL 33570 

Temple Terrace

5892 East Fowler Avenue
Temple Terrace, FL 33617 

Town 'n Country

7520 West Waters Avenue
Suite 8
Tampa, FL 33615