COVID-19 vaccinations now available to children six months and older
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages six months to five years of age, and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages six months to five years of age.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have also approved and recommended the use of these vaccines to include children in these age groups.
JCDHE encourages parents and guardians to reach out to their child’s health care provider or visit vaccines.gov for additional vaccination opportunities. Children’s Mercy Hospital is also offering vaccination clinics.
More than 30,000 children in Johnson County, Kansas, comprise the newly eligible age cohort.
Following this weekend’s federal authorization of COVID-19 vaccinations for children as young as six months, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment will offer these free pediatric vaccinations at its walk-in clinics beginning Monday, June 27, in Olathe and Mission.
“We know parents have been waiting a long time for the COVID-19 vaccine to become available to this age group, and we are pleased to offer it to the youngest members of our community,” said Dr. Sanmi Areola, JCDHE director. “This a major step towards getting this pandemic under control.”
The Pfizer COVID-19 pediatric vaccine is authorized for children ages six months to four years in three doses, with a three-week interval between the first two doses, followed by a third dose at least eight weeks after the second dose. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is authorized to be given to children six months to five years in two doses with 28 days between the two doses.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 13.5 million children in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, and although most children experience mild symptoms, more than 42,000 have been hospitalized in the U.S., and at least 1,240 children 18 and younger have died.
“We urge parents to continue to take this unpredictable virus seriously and have their children immunized as soon as possible,” said Areola. “Families should feel confident that the safety and efficacy of vaccines for this age group were strongly established before approval was considered.”
Children ages 15 and younger receiving a COVID-19 vaccination at a JCDHE walk-in clinic must be accompanied by an adult when getting vaccinated. A parent/guardian is preferable; however, the parent/guardian may designate a non-parent adult to be present at the time of vaccination if the parent/guardian is unavailable. A signed parental consent form is required for anyone under the age of 18 and is available at dispenseassist.net/COVID.html.