COVID vaccines for kids under 5 arrive in Lancaster County
The health department is working to distribute the vaccines to local pharmacies and doctors offices.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has received a shipment of vaccines for younger children and are working to distribute them to local pharmacies and doctors offices.
Last week, the FDA approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for kids 6 months - 5 years old. According to Health Director Pat Lopez, that makes 23,000 children in Lancaster County now eligible for the shot.
Moderna is a two-dose vaccine given four weeks apart. Immunocompromised kids can receive a third dose eight weeks after the second dose. Pfizer is a three-vaccine series, with the first two shots given three weeks apart. The third shot is given eight weeks after the second shot.
Both vaccines have the same side effects including fever, fatigue and soreness at the injection site.
It’s been 18 months since adults were first approved for the COVID-19 vaccine. A pediatrician with Complete Children’s Health said they have a lot of experience with this vaccine now and there’s strong evidence that it prevents complications from COVID and severe disease.
“The 6 month to 4 year age group is actually more likely to be hospitalized, more likely to require ICU care, and more likely to require ongoing complications from COVID-19, so having this vaccine in that population is really a game changer for us in pediatrics,” Dr. Sian Jones-Jobst said.
Even if your child isn’t immunocompromised, Dr. Jones-Jobst said getting them the vaccine can protect family members who may be at an increased risk of getting very sick.
While the shipment is here, parents are still waiting on available appointments. Health Director Pat Lopez said to check your pediatrician’s website and social media pages for updates on vaccines.
10/11 checked on appointment availability at local pharmacies, which are only able to offer the shots to children three and up.
Walgreens and CVS Minute Clinics in Lincoln show they are offering the Pfizer vaccine starting Friday. Hy-Vee has availability next week. Walmart didn’t show any available appointments yet.
The health department will also be offering vaccines but not holding any clinics.
The COVID-19 Risk Dial for Lancaster County is in the elevated yellow category, indicating a moderate risk of COVID-19 spread in the community.
Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.