Children 6 months of age and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has adopted the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to include children 6 months to 4 years of age.
Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children as young as 6 months old. The CDC and VDH recommend that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine formulation approved for this age group is recommended in multi-dose series depending on the type of vaccine provided:
- Moderna: Two-dose series administered 4 weeks apart. Previously, this vaccine had been authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older.
- Pfizer-BioNTech: Three-dose series with the first two doses administered three weeks apart and a third dose at least two months after the second dose. Previously, this vaccine had been authorized for use in individuals 5 years of age and older.
“This is a significant development in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect young children from becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19,” said Loudoun County Health Director Dr. David Goodfriend. “Children infected with COVID-19 can potentially become very ill, have short- and long-term health conditions, and spread COVID-19 to loved ones, and others at school and in the community.”
Some providers may choose to offer both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, while others may decide only to offer one. Loudoun County health officials encourage parents and guardians to talk to their health care providers for specific information about which vaccine they will be offering as well as about the CDC recommendations.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Under 5
COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 years may be available at some locations as early as today. Parents and guardians of young children have several options for obtaining COVID-19 vaccine in Loudoun County:
- Pediatric and Family Practice Medical Offices: The best place for children to receive a vaccine is at their pediatrician’s office. Doctors and staff in these offices are accustomed to providing vaccine to very young children and are aware of any medical concerns and other special considerations for this age group.
- Retail Pharmacies for Age 3 and Older: Pharmacies may be a good option for children 3 and older. Parents and guardians should call first to check availability and the age groups that may be vaccinated in these locations. Pharmacists in Virginia are restricted by law from administering vaccine to children younger than 3 years old.
- Loudoun County Health Department: Loudoun County is offering COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only at its Health Department clinic location in Leesburg for those age 6 months and older who are unable to receive vaccine through a pediatrician or pharmacy. Call 703-737-8300 or send an email to the Heath Department for more information.
Vaccine providers can also be found at vaccines.gov. For additional information about COVID-19 visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus.
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