On Saturday, June 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave final approval for two COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years old, one manufactured by Pfizer and one by Moderna. This approval makes everyone ages 6 months and older eligible to receive life-saving vaccination.
YKHC placed its initial order of vaccines and received approval to receive both. The Pfizer vaccine was approved for administration to children ages 6 months through 4 years old and is a three-dose series. The Moderna vaccine was approved for administration to children ages 6 months through 5 years old and is a two-dose series. Also authorized was a 3rd dose of Moderna for children 6 months through 5 years old with certain immunocompromise conditions.
YKHC expects to begin offering COVID-19 vaccination to children older than 6 months old on Wednesday, July 6, pending receipt of the vaccine order.
“As we saw across the country, children in our region ages 6 months through 4 years old were more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than older children or adults during the winter surge brought on by the omicron variant,” said YKHC Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges. “Our pediatric population is very vulnerable to chronic lung conditions. COVID-19 vaccination offers extremely safe, durable protection that can prevent children from getting sick enough to be hospitalized. I’d love to see every child in our region receive the protection the vaccine provides.”
“COVID-19 vaccination for our youngest community members is another step toward returning to normalcy,” said YKHC Director of Infection Control Dr. Elizabeth Bates. “Up-to-date vaccination can help to keep children in daycare and school. In our region, where we have many multi-generational homes, vaccinating children as soon as they are eligible protects everyone from baby to grandma.”
How parents and caretakers can sign up their little ones for the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Bethel-based families: Call the YKHC COVID-19 hotline, (907) 543-6949, to schedule an appointment. If appointments are not yet available, you will be added to a call-back list.
- Village-based families: Call (907) 543-6420. You will be contacted by YKHC to set-up an appointment as soon as the vaccine is available in your community.
- If you receive an answering machine, please leave a message with your name and contact information.
Parents or guardians who have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccination for their children should speak with their YKHC healthcare provider. To learn more, visit www.ykhc.org/vaccine.