WellSpan Health will begin scheduling appointments on Friday for children ranging from ages 6 months to 5 years old to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
This aligns with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health, which recently announced their recommendation to expand access to the vaccine to children under the age of 5.
“The COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be safe and effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among both adults and children ages 5 and older, and we are excited that younger children will now get the chance to receive the vaccine as well,” said Dr. Mark Goedecker, vice president and chief medical officer, primary care service line, WellSpan Health.
“While children under 5 do typically have a lower risk from COVID-19, there have recently been higher hospitalization rates among these children compared to older children and adults. Expanding access to this vaccine to those young children will hopefully go a long way in keeping children here in South Central Pennsylvania and across the country from getting and spreading the virus.”
Parents or guardians of children ranging from ages 6 months to 5 years old will be able to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine at some WellSpan Pediatric and WellSpan Family Medicine practices. Children ages 5 to 11 are also able to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at these locations. You do not need to be a WellSpan Health patient.
How to schedule
Parents or guardians are currently able to schedule their children for an appointment by using MyWellSpan or by calling our hotline at (855) 851-3641. Parents can also schedule an appointment at WellSpan.org/COVID19. Walk-in appointments will not be available at this time.
The FDA approval
On June 15, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee recommended emergency use authorization of a lower dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years. The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee announced on Saturday their recommendation to make the vaccine available to those children as well. The recommendation is for young children to receive three doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, each with one-tenth of the dosage of the adult vaccine. The second dose is recommended to be administered three weeks after the first dose, with the third dose then administered eight weeks later.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit WellSpan.org/COVID19.