Following actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Wake County Public Health is preparing to offer both the Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna vaccines for children 6 months and older once authorization is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is shared. The vaccine will be offered at all five county vaccine clinics.
The Pfizer vaccine shipment for this age group is scheduled for delivery early next week. The Moderna vaccine is ordered but a delivery date is yet to be determined. Wake County plans to begin allowing parents to schedule the Pfizer dose on Wednesday evening, with appointments available as early as Thursday.
“A lot of parents have been waiting for this good news, and we’re excited to be able to offer two safe, effective vaccine options for our young children,” said Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria. “While this age group doesn’t tend to have severe cases of the virus, this added layer of protection will go a long way in preventing serious illness and cases of long COVID for our youngest residents.”
Two Vaccines Available
The FDA has approved usage of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in children ages 6 months and older. There are differences between the two vaccines and how they are administered:
- The dose for children ages 6 months to 4 years will be a three-dose series. The second dose is given three weeks after the first, and the third is given at least eight weeks after the second.
- The dose for children ages 6 months to 5 years will be a two-dose series like other age groups. The second dose given at least one month after the first.
- The Moderna vaccine has also been authorized for children ages 6 and up.
Both vaccines are effective against infection and help prevent hospitalization and ICU admissions due to COVID-19. Parents are welcome to choose the vaccine they feel is best for their child.
The most common side effects after the vaccine were pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given, along with tiredness, fever or a headache. All typically resolve within a few days.
Wake County set up a special website, WakeGov.com/kids, with information for families and a link for signing up for their children’s COVID-19 protection.
Visit Wake County’s multilingual COVID-19 webpage for the latest information on COVID-19. It features a set of frequently asked questions to educate residents, COVID-19 vaccine information, COVID-19 testing locations and the most current data on how the virus is impacting our county.
Also, look for important updates about COVID-19 on Wake County’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.