With federal and state regulators having now approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 4 years old, Sonoma County is expected to begin vaccinating the roughly 21,000 children in this age range through primary care providers and health centers beginning this week.
Parents who have health care coverage are encouraged to reach out to their primary care provider to find a vaccination appointment for their children as soon as possible. Vaccinations for those ages 6 months and up will also be available starting Tuesday at the county’s fixed vaccination clinic at the Roseland Community Center, 779 Sebastopol Road, in Santa Rosa.
Appointments for pediatric vaccinations also can be made on myturn.ca.org beginning on Tuesday, June 21.
“Our youngest children have had the longest wait, but finally there is a vaccine to protect them against COVID-19,” said Dr. Urmila Shende, Sonoma County’s vaccine chief. “The vaccine has shown to be safe and effective in preventing the worst outcomes from COVID. This is yet another critical tool that we have to keep our community safe from the virus.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on June 17 authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years old, and the Moderna vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years old. On June 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared that age group to get vaccinated and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup followed suit.
In its initial allocation of vaccine for the youngest children, Sonoma County received roughly 1,600 doses of Pfizer and 1,600 doses of Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine is administered in two shots three weeks apart followed by a third at least two months later, each one-tenth the dose given to adults. Moderna’s vaccine, a two-shot series given four weeks apart, is a quarter of its adult dose.
The county Department of Health Services is working with primary care providers and federally qualified health centers to provide free vaccinations to children.