COVID shot appointments for young children now available at some pharmacies

Appointments are available for children under the age of 5.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:21 AM EDT
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(WFSB) - Young children are now eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines.

However, there are a few things parents should know before they book an appointment.

Appointments are available for children under the age of 5.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration both signed off on the Pfizer and Moderna shots.

Dr. Lucia Benzoni, a Pediatrician with Hartford HealthCare, answers questions parents may have about the COVID-19 vaccine for young kids.

“Do not wait. Get your child the vaccine now,” said Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore Public Health commissioner.

Two big pharmacies, CVS and Walgreens, announced they will administer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to young children.

There are a few differences.

CVS said it will start offering the shots at a select number of stores for children as young as 18 months.

Walgreens said it will do the same thing, but only for children who are 3 and up.

Channel 3 tried to book an appointment on both pharmacies’ websites. It could not make an appointment on the CVS site; however, Walgreens had openings in the Hartford area as soon as this Saturday.

Parents were urged to talk to their doctors about what’s right for their families, but experts said that vaccinating young children is a major step forward in fighting the pandemic, especially because the threat of new emerging variants always looms.

“What we know is right now, these vaccines, despite the fact that we have various variants out there, are doing an extraordinary job of keeping kids out of the hospital,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator.

A family with children who have respiratory issues said they took that advice.

“This is going to hopefully help ease things into a more normal state,” said John Kolodziejczak, father of 2-year-old children who have health complications.

Only about a fifth of parents indicated back in April they would rush to get their kids vaccinated.

One reason some parents said they were hesitant was that children tend to have milder COVID symptoms than adults.

However, Jha said that’s the wrong comparison.

“The right comparison is how does COVID compare to other risks for which we vaccinate, and on that context, it’s really not a close call,” Jha said.

Experts said unless a child just recovered from COVID, they should get the shots, even if they’re about to age into a different dosage.

“They can still get the higher dose that corresponds to their next birthday, so don’t wait,” Wen said.

Young children are now eligible to get COVID-19 vaccines.