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COVID-19 vaccine appointments now available for kids under age 5

A monumental step in the fight against COVID-19 was taken Tuesday as children ages six months and up can now get vaccinated.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 11:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:20 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A monumental step in the fight against COVID-19 was taken Tuesday as children ages six months and up can now get vaccinated. The final federal sign-off for pediatric doses of Pfizer and Moderna came over the weekend and appointments in the Bay State have opened up through VaxFinder.

Vaccine shipments are already at local doctor’s offices and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said children in the Bay State are able to start getting the shot today.

Medical professional across the country are preparing to vaccinate the youngest age group of Americans against COVID-19 after doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have now been authorized for those six months to five years old.

“I honestly think it’s a great thing,” said Amy Purcell.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor for the White House, spoke with our Western Mass News D.C. Bureau on Monday. He said this final step, which masmaking the whole country eligible for the vaccine, is crucial in the fight against the pandemic.

“This is very good news, good news for the children, but also good news for parents who have been quite concerned that their children have been vulnerable to a virus that really has a great deal of impact on society and in a very negative way,” Fauci noted.

Fauci recognizes that children typically only get a mild case of COVID-19. However, he suggested parents of this young age group to get them vaccinated for the small possibility their child is seriously ill.

“There have been over 400 children within that age group who have actually died from COVID, so it’s critically important that we protect our children. So this is very good news whenever you make a decision to provide an intervention for anyone, but particularly children of this age group, who are particularly vulnerable, you want to make absolutely certain that you’re dealing with an intervention that is proven to be effective and that is clearly safe,” Fauci explained.

Common side effects of the children’s vaccines are similar to the adult doses: pain, swelling or redness at the injection site, and feeling tired.

“There’s always what we call reactogenicity, which is seen in any vaccine, namely swelling at the arm, occasional fever. Rarely, a child will get a very high fever, but this has not been any different from many of the other vaccines that we routinely give our children,” Fauci

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said they are in the process of uploading vaccine appointments for this new age group. Parents can sign their children up now for one of the state clinics or contact their pediatrician for appointments.