The VDH has released a statement of approval following the CDC's sign-off on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 on Saturday.
News of Walensky signing off on it comes hours after CDC advisory panel unanimously agreed that COVID-19 vaccines should be made available to children as young as 6 months.
The CDC's vote comes the same week the Food and Drug Administration authorized Moderna’s and Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
All Virginians from the age of six months and older are eligible now to get a free COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a three-dose series with the first two doses administered 3 weeks apart and a third dose at least two months after the second dose. The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series administered 4 weeks apart.
The VDH stresses to parents that providers can choose which vaccine to offer to their patients. Some providers may choose to offer both vaccines, while others may decide only to offer one. Parents should follow up with their pediatrician or another healthcare provider for specific information about the vaccines they’ll be offering.
According to the VDH they have been planning for this for several months.
Vaccination sites may include:
- Pediatric offices
- Family practice offices
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
- Retail pharmacies for children ages 3 years and older
- Local Health Departments
The following is a statement from Virginia’s State Vaccination Coordinator and Director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Immunization Christy Gray, MPH:
“With the CDC’s endorsement of the recommendation of its independent panel of advisers that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be safely administered to children 4 years of age and younger down to 6 months of age and the Moderna vaccine to children 5 years of age down to 6 months, one of the final fronts in the battle against COVID-19 has opened up.
“We at VDH are pleased to begin offering this vaccine to parents who want to protect their youngest children from severe illness and hospitalization due to this virus. There are a variety of venues open to Virginia parents to vaccinate their children, including community vaccination events set up by local health departments, pharmacies and, of course, pediatrician’s offices. We urge parents to consult with their child’s healthcare provider about vaccination.
“VDH is excited that parents have this opportunity and are empowered to protect their youngest children against this virus.”
The Biden administration is gearing up to start rolling out the shots early next week, the Associated Press reported.