The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that children ages 6 months through 5 years should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Children within this age group can begin receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations this week as shipments of both authorized Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continue to arrive in Wisconsin and are being distributed across the state.
The announcement follows the authorization and recommendation by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC for use of the Pfizer vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age as well as the Moderna vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years of age. This means that everyone 6 months and older is now eligible to receive vaccination against COVID-19.
“This news is critically important to the health of families across Wisconsin, making nearly 300,000 additional Wisconsin children eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Whether they are at day care, school, playing with their friends, or spending time with family, vaccinating your kids means they can do the things they love while also staying safe and healthy. We urge parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible to protect them and their families, friends, and loved ones from the virus.”
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years of age requires three total doses. The first two doses of the vaccine are given three weeks apart, followed by a third dose at least two months later. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years of age requires two doses, 28 days apart.
After successful clinical trials and a rigorous review of all available data, the FDA authorized Pfizer’s and Moderna’s requests to expand their emergency use authorization (EUA) to the youngest children on June 17. On June 18, the CDC Director officially confirmed that the pediatric vaccines are safe and recommended them.
“Our nation’s leading medical experts have reviewed the available data and confirmed that Pfizer and Moderna pediatric vaccines are safe and effective for our youngest children,” said Stephanie Schauer, Ph.D., Division of Public Health Immunization Program Manager. “The vaccines show very good protection against severe disease and hospitalization for those under 5 years of age.”
DHS asks parents and guardians to be patient as Wisconsin vaccinators take the necessary steps to review all guidelines, train staff, and receive the vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccines remain available to all Wisconsinites at no cost regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Parents and guardians can schedule an appointment for the vaccine using a variety of options, including with their health care provider, at community-based vaccination clinics, local and tribal health departments, or pharmacies. Vaccination sites across Wisconsin may choose to provide vaccines to specific age groups. Parents and guardians are encouraged to check with their local health clinics or visit vaccines.gov(link is external) to find vaccination sites for specific age groups.