San Diego County public health officials are awaiting word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Western States committee on approval of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer's for children ages 6 months to 4 years.
If that does happen in the coming days, San Diego County children in those age groups will be able to get vaccinated at their pediatrician's office, community clinics and some retail pharmacies.
"While children have not been as susceptible to COVID-19, it's important that they, too, are vaccinated to keep them from getting sick and passing the virus to others," said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. "Some parents have been eagerly anticipating the COVID vaccine for their younger kids. They should make an appointment to get them vaccinated as soon as possible."
The vaccines for children this age would be given in much smaller doses, a statement from the county said. The Pfizer vaccine would be given in three shots, each containing one-tenth of an adult dose. The first two doses would be given three weeks apart and the final shot at least three months later.
The Moderna vaccine is also likely to be approved, county health officials said, for two more age groups: children between 6 and 17 years of age and those under 6. The Moderna shot for kids under 6 is a two-dose series, given about four weeks apart. Each dose contains one-quarter of the adult dose.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna shots for kids under 6 are given with smaller needles and, most times, it is administered in the leg. Everyone 5 years and older can get a vaccine and boosters at no cost. Parental consent is required for all eligible minors to be vaccinated.