COVID vaccines for Eastern Carolina kids ages 6 months and older available June 20th

The vaccine is available in North Carolina following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization and the CDC’s recommendation.
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 4:05 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - On Monday, all children ages 6 months to under 5 years in North Carolina will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it has preordered 118,600 doses of the child vaccines for distribution across all 100 counties.

The first doses are set to arrive on June 20, but the department recommends that parents and guardians contact their child’s pediatrician, medical provider, or local health department to confirm the vaccine will be available before visiting a health care provider. 

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 have the option of getting vaccinated at a pharmacy or grocery store in addition to a doctor’s office or local health center. Children under 3 years are not able to be vaccinated by a pharmacist.

Children ages 6 months to younger than 5 get a smaller vaccine dose than any other age group. This vaccine dose differs from the vaccine that was previously authorized for children ages 5 to 11.

Booster shots are currently not authorized for children in this age group. 

As with all routine vaccinations for children, these vaccines were tested and reviewed by the FDA and the CDC and their independent scientific committees to ensure they are safe for children.

Results from ongoing clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective to protect children ages 6 months to under 5 years from COVID-19. 

The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for three doses, while the Moderna will initially begin as two. 

Moderna is currently testing their third dose, with data expected this summer. 

There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the clinical trials for either vaccine. 

Children may experience temporary and minimal side effects. These side effects are similar to adults – a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or two.  

According to the CDC, children under 5 had the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to other pediatric groups. COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalization, death, MIS-C (inflammation in different parts of the body) and long-term problems with symptoms that last for months.

NCDHHS says vaccines will help reduce infections and transmission, bringing all North Carolinians closer to fewer family disruptions ahead of the summer months and school year. 

Everyone ages 6 months and older can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, even if they don’t have health insurance and regardless of their immigration status.

Parents and guardians of children who do not have an established medical provider can visit to search for a nearby vaccine provider.

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