HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health says vaccine providers are prepared to start administering the COVID-19 vaccine to young children starting as early as Tuesday, June 21.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a Moderna and Pfizer vaccine for children as young as six months old on June 18, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the vaccines for emergency use the day before.
The Pfizer vaccine, which was previously available to children 5 years and older, is now approved for people as young as 6 months old, though it's made up of three doses that are a tenth of an adult dose.
The Moderna vaccine, which was previously available to those 18 years and older, is now also approved for those as young as 6 months old.
For children from 6 months to 5 years, the doses are a quarter of those given to adults. Children from 6 to 11 years old receive a dose half the amount as adults.
State officials say the approval is something parents have been hoping for.
“The approval of the vaccines for young children across the state and the nation is welcome news for many parents who have been waiting for the opportunity to provide valuable protection for their children from COVID-19,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said.
State officials also noted that pharmacists in Pennsylvania can only give the COVID-19 vaccine to children who are three years old or older, parents seeking appointments for children under three should contact their pediatrician, family doctor or other qualified physicians.
You can find information about scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Pennsylvania here.