Utah DHHS: Doses of COVID-19 vaccine for babies, young children to start arriving next week

File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

UTAH, June 18, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday that with the CDC’s approval of COVID-19 vaccination for children age 6 months through 5 years, doses for that age group should start arriving in Utah next week.

“The first batch of doses is expected early in the week and another batch of doses is expected later in the week,” says a statement released by the Utah DHHS.

“According to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), providers have already ordered 32,300 doses of the vaccines.”

Providers such as local health departments, select pharmacies, and doctors’ offices will begin offering vaccinations to the youngest Utahns over the next several days to weeks, the statement says.

“We encourage parents to reach out to their child’s healthcare provider if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and to find out when they can get their children vaccinated,” Dr. Leisha Nolen, a pediatrician and the state epidemiologist at the DHHS said in the prepared statement.

“Please be patient with vaccine providers over the next couple of weeks as they receive vaccines and prepare to administer them to our youngest children.”

A list of vaccine providers is available on the state’s coronavirus webpage. Vaccines will not be available for this youngest age group at all locations right away. Parents can visit vaccines.gov to verify which providers have younger pediatric vaccines available or call their child’s doctor’s office or local health department for information on scheduling a vaccination.

Vaccine dosage is based on the brand of the vaccine and a person’s age the day they receive the vaccine, not weight, the statement says. Depending on the type of vaccine given, children younger than 5 may need 2 or 3 doses.

  • Pfizer vaccine: Children ages 6 months through 4 years of age will need three doses to complete their primary vaccine series. The second dose should be given 21 days after the first dose and then a third dose two months after the second dose.
  • Moderna vaccine: Children ages 6 months through 5 years of age will need two doses to complete their primary vaccine series. The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first dose.

“We strongly encourage healthcare providers to familiarize themselves with the CDC recommendations and begin immunizing these children immediately,” said Nolen. “Doctors, and especially pediatricians, will play a critical role in vaccinating this population. We hope doctors will proactively reach out to their patients with the information they need to make the decision to vaccinate their children.”

The DHHS is also launching a public awareness campaign with television commercials, digital videos, radio commercials, social media advertising, and outdoor advertising encouraging parents to talk to their child’s doctor about the vaccine, the statement says.

“The clinical trials showed these vaccines are safe for young children and can prevent them from getting sick or suffering from long-term impacts of COVID-19,” said Nolen.

“Children have not been exempt from this pandemic. The Omicron wave this winter sent a number of our very youngest kids to the hospital; one-quarter of whom ended up in intensive care. Most tragically, COVID-19 has killed more children younger than 5 than flu would during two normal flu seasons. I think we can all agree, this is tragic. We need to help keep kids out of the hospital and now we can through vaccination.”

For more information visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine/ or call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-456-7707.


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