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Young children can get COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday

Starting Wednesday, the Southern Nevada Health District will begin offering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to children from 6 months to 4 years of age.

The announcement comes just a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for the vaccines.

The Health District will initially have the Pfizer vaccine available.

“We are pleased to finally be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccines to help protect our youngest residents,” Dr. Fermin Leguen, district health officer for SNHD, stated in a news release. “Families have made extraordinary sacrifices these past few years to protect their children and their most vulnerable members. The availability of the vaccines for younger children is another critical step in our ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our community.”

The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for children 6 months to 4 years of age and is a three-dose series. The second dose is administered three weeks after the first dose. The third dose is administered at least eight weeks after the second dose.

The Moderna vaccine is authorized for children ages 6 months to 5 years of age in a two-dose series, with the second dose administered after 28 days. It is initially unavailable in health district clinics. In its news release, SNHD did not specify when the Moderna vaccine might be available.

As of June 13, the health district is reporting 13,868 cases of COVID-19 in children under the age of 4 and three deaths.

Many children who get COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms. However, some will experience more severe illness or develop long-term symptoms.

“I would encourage parents and guardians to bring their children in to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Dr. Cort Lohff, chief medical officer for the health district. “This is the time of year we start reminding the community about the importance of back-to-school immunizations, and this is one more step parents can take to help ensure their children have a healthier start to the school year.”

According to the CDC, more than 591 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S. since Dec. 14, 2020. The vaccines underwent a rigorous process to ensure their safety and effectiveness and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.

Health District COVID-19 clinic location information is available here.

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