COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months to 4 years old are available at select Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist facilities. The Forsyth County Public Health Department will begin offering the vaccines on Wednesday.
In both cases, the vaccine is only done by appointment.
At Baptist, appointments are available at 336-70-COVID or online via myWakeHealth or www.wakehealth.edu/vaccine.
The Forsyth Health Department said vaccinations are available at its office at 799 N. Highland Ave. and can be programmed at Bit.Ly/FCNCCovidVaccin. Hours of operation for the age group vaccination clinics will be 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday.
Novant Health Inc. said it was finalizing its vaccine rollout plans for the age group. Cone Health said it plans to start providing the COVID-19 vaccine next week for children as young as 6 months old.
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On Saturday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for this age group.
The Pfizer vaccine is licensed for three doses, while the Moderna vaccine will start with two. Moderna is testing its third dose, with data expected this summer.
Moderna’s plans are a quarter of the dose of the company’s adult plans. Pfizer’s injections are only a tenth of his adult dose.
The state Department of Health and Human Services has received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines designed for children 6 months to 4 years old.
DHHS said the distribution will involve all 100 county health departments, as well as more than 300 pediatric practices, family practice practices and pharmacies for children ages 3 and older.
Children under 3 years old cannot be vaccinated by a pharmacist. Parents and guardians of children who do not have an established care provider can visit MySpot.nc.gov to find a nearby vaccine supplier.
Another contact option is the NC COVID-19 Vaccine Help Center, which can help you book an appointment. The center is available at 888-675-4567 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
“We encourage those with questions to contact a trusted source, such as their child’s pediatrician,” said Alisa Starbuck, president of Brenner Children’s Hospital and vice president of women’s and children’s health services at Baptist. “Our pediatricians are always happy to discuss family concerns.”
Dr Anna Miller-Fitzwater, pediatrician at Brenner Children’s and associate professor of pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, said that “although COVID-19 is normally less severe in this age group, the virus can be fatal for some children.
“For many parents of young children, it felt like a long wait that is now coming to an end.”
DHHS will send a postcard to families with children who may be eligible for the new vaccines.
“Many parents and families have been anxiously awaiting a vaccine to protect our youngest North Carolinians,” Health Secretary Kody Kinsley said in a statement.
“These vaccines are the best way to protect children against COVID-19 – they are safe, effective and free.”
It remains to be seen, however, how many parents will choose to have their infant, toddler or preschooler vaccinated.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that about 18 million children nationwide are now eligible.
Yet less than a third of children aged 5 to 11 have been vaccinated since their version of the vaccine was approved in November.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for this age group have been involved in clinical trials since March 2021. The CDC said there were no safety concerns or serious side effects for either vaccines.
The DHHS said some children in the age group may experience temporary, minimal side effects similar to adults: a sore arm, headache, and fatigue or body aches for a day or two. The CDC said children under age 5 had the highest hospitalization rate compared to other pediatric groups.
Cases of COVID-19 in children can lead to hospitalization, death, MIS-C (inflammation in different parts of the body), and long-term problems with symptoms that last for months.