With COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years of age now authorized and recommended by national health officials, Governor Dan McKee’s office is saying vaccine for this population is en route to Rhode Island and will be available early next week.
“It’s great news that some of our youngest Rhode Islanders are now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Governor McKee in a press release. “We are partnering with pediatricians, family physicians, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers throughout the state to ensure that kids can be vaccinated in the settings that are most familiar and comfortable. Getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19 now is an important step that parents and families can take to provide protection this summer and into the fall, when kids are heading back to school.”
“As parents and families, we want what’s best for our kids. Getting vaccinated can protect your children against severe illness, hospitalization, and long-term health impacts from COVID-19,” said Interim Director of Health James McDonald, MD, MPH in the release. “Just like the many other vaccines that we give to our kids to keep them healthy and safe, these vaccines have been thoroughly researched. Parents should feel confident in the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine and should get their children vaccinated for the best protection against COVID-19.”
According to McKee’s office, COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years of age will be available at locations across the state, including healthcare provider offices, CVS Minute Clinics, retail pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, and hospitals. Speak with your healthcare provider about whether they are offering COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. You can also find a clinic near you at Vaccines.Gov.
There are approximately 56,000 children in Rhode Island younger than age 5. Nationwide, over 570,000 children younger than age 1 and over 1.9 million children between the ages of 1 and 4 have gotten sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 can cause severe illness in young children. DATA POINT ON RI HOSPITALIZATIONS.
On June 14, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children age 6 months through 5 years and Pfizer’s vaccine for children age 6 months through 4 years. On June 18, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended these vaccines for these age groups.
Both the Moderna vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years and the Pfizer vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years will be available in Rhode Island. The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, with 28 days between the first and second dose. The Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose vaccine, with 21 days between the first and second dose and at least 8 weeks between the second and third dose. The doses for children are smaller than the doses given to adolescents and adults.
“Extensive trials were conducted with thousands of children to understand the safety and efficacy of these vaccines”, McKee’s office shares in the press release. “No new safety concerns were identified. Independent scientists and researchers reviewed the safety and efficacy data and concluded that these vaccines are safe and effective at reducing infection, including infection caused by the Omicron variant. Both vaccines will continue to be monitored for safety. People who want to help checking these vaccines for safety can sign up for v-safe, a mobile tool that sends you confidential health check-ins by text message and web survey. This helps the CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in near real time”.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, visit C19VaccineRI.org.