NYSDOH and CDC Recommend the Covid-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 6 Months to 5 Years
Vaccines for Young Children Are Available Statewide Through Pediatricians, Family Physicians, Local County Health Departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and Some Pharmacies
Contact Your Child’s Health Care Provider or Schedule Your Child’s Free COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment at vaccines.gov
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and children at ny.gov/VaxForKids
Albany, N.Y. (June 23, 2022) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today announced updated clinical guidance for use of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in children down to 6 months of age. Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation and updated ” Interim Clinical Considerations”, vaccines are now widely available for children under five years.
“At long last, COVID-19 vaccines are here for the youngest New Yorkers down to six months of age,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “I encourage parents and guardians to get their littlest ones vaccinated, giving them the safe, effective protection against COVID-19 they need. Over the coming days, reach out to your child’s pediatrician, family physician, local health clinic, or visit our website to learn more about the vaccine for children and to schedule their free vaccine appointment.”
In accordance with FDA authorization and CDC recommendations, eligibility for the two vaccines available for children down to 6 months of age is as follows:
- Children 6 months – 4 years of age are eligible for three shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The initial two doses are administered three weeks apart, followed by a third dose administered at least eight weeks after the second dose. The two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has already been authorized and available for children 5 years and older.
- Children 6 months – 5 years of age are eligible for two shots of the Moderna vaccine, given one month apart. The vaccine had been authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older.
In addition to issuing guidance for providers, New York State has taken important steps to launch a robust rollout of vaccines to children under five years. Providers in New York State, outside of New York City, have already placed orders for over 64,300 dosages and NYSDOH is working to ensure providers across the state will be able to request additional doses.
NYSDOH shares CDC’s recommendation that all children down to 6 months of age, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccines available in the U.S. for children under five years are safe, effective, and offer important protection against severe outcomes caused by COVID-19.
“I’ve been waiting for COVID-19 vaccines for children down to 6 months of age, just like many other New York parents and guardians,” Dr. Emily Lutterloh, Director of the State Health Department’s Division of Epidemiology said. “As both a doctor and a parent of three children, I want New Yorkers to know that my two older children are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, and now that vaccination is available for kids under 5, I’ll be getting my youngest vaccinated right away. Vaccination offers young children safe and important protection against severe illness, and I encourage families to get their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers vaccinated as soon as they can.”
According to CDC, COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine for preschoolers, toddlers, and babies, parents and guardians should contact their child’s health care provider or visit ny.gov/VaxForKids. The dedicated website includes information, frequently asked questions and answers, and resources for providers hosting vaccination clinics for this age group.
Later this summer, the State Department of Health will launch a comprehensive, statewide media campaign to encourage getting vaccinated to all who are now eligible.
Vaccines for children down to six months of age are available statewide, including through pediatricians, family physicians, local county health departments, federally qualified health centers, and pharmacies enrolled in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Parents and guardians are encouraged to contact their child’s healthcare provider about scheduling a vaccine appointment for children under five years of age.
Parents and guardians can also visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. Please note, due to federal regulation, pharmacies are only able to vaccinate children three years and older. If you are scheduling a vaccine appointment at a pharmacy for your child three years and older, you may need an authorization code from your pediatrician to validate their age. Make sure the provider is administering the vaccine to children under five years of age.