North Carolina prepared to rollout vaccines for children under five

North Carolina prepared to rollout vaccines for children under five

4:00pm Jun 20, 2022
Shots of COVID-19 vaccines for elementary-age children are arrayed at Children's National Hospital in Washington. North Carolina officials say the state is well-prepared to administer vaccines for children under five, the last age group to have not yet received vaccines. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of five, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given states the go-ahead for administration. 

Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services say they’re well-prepared for equitable distribution of the children’s vaccine in all 100 counties.

Shots are available at local health departments and are also offered in pediatric offices, family clinics, and pharmacies.

NCDHHS officials say they’ve prepared a communications campaign for the rollout that includes bilingual town halls, digital, broadcast, and social media messages, and partnerships with community-based organizations to reach historically marginalized communities.

Dr. Susan Kansagra with the NCDHHS Division Director for Public Health says both vaccines are equally safe and effective for the age group, with benefits far outweighing the risks.

"I’d really encourage families to talk to their provider. Both vaccines are great," says Kansagra. "I’d really encourage them to get the vaccine that’s available to them at their provider’s office. Both of these vaccines are available across North Carolina. We have over 300 providers that are ready to go."

Kansagra notes that the FDA has authorized the two-dose Moderna vaccine for children under the age of five, while a three-dose series of the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children ages six-months through four-years old.

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