Parents and guardians of children ages six months to five years of age may now make appointments for them to receive their initial COVID-19 vaccination through the Washington County Health Department.
Appointments must be made for the special Thursday pediatric clinics by calling 240-313-3456 or visiting washcohealth.org under the COVID-19 section. COVID-19 vaccination clinics for this youngest age group will take place Thursdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning July 7, at the main health department building at 1302 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk-in times are not available for these clinics.
“Parents and guardians should be aware that any children who weigh less than 16.5 pounds will not be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination from the health department and will be directed to visit their primary care provider for the shots,” says Danielle Stahl, program manager for health planning and strategic initiatives of the health department.
For the best protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages six months and older. Children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19; however, healthy children without underlying health concerns can also experience severe illness.
The COVID-19 vaccines for children have the same active ingredients as the vaccines given to adults, according to the CDC, although kids receive a smaller, age-appropriate dose that is the right size for them.
The Washington County Health Department staff will be administering both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine product, which includes three doses in the primary series over the course of several months and the Moderna vaccine product, which includes two doses for most children in the primary series over the course of several months.
According to the CDC, emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated even after they have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.