Recommendations for safe, free and effective vaccinations meant to help prevent COVID-19 infection and serious illness have been expanded to include children 6 months and older, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), following authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), now recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months through 4 years with a three-dose series and appropriate dose amount for that age group. The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is also now recommended for children aged 6 months through 5 years in a two-dose series for most children and appropriate dose amount.
Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, said everyone ages 6 months and older should receive COVID-19 vaccines if they haven’t already. “I encourage Wyoming parents to choose vaccination for their children. We have certainly seen some children become very ill due to the virus and we also know they can spread COVID-19 to others who may be especially vulnerable to the virus and its effects.”
Scientists and medical experts completed a review of safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials of thousands of young children before recommending vaccines for them. Across the country, millions of older children and adults have been safely vaccinated.
Harrist noted children can receive other vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. Detailed information about COVID-19 vaccines for children, including questions and answers for parents about safety and potential side effects, is available from the CDC online.
Parents of newly eligible children should contact their local public health office or other approved COVID-19 vaccine provider about availability of the appropriate vaccines. The newly authorized vaccines for young children are in the process of being ordered, shipped and delivered to Wyoming locations.
“As we move through this pandemic, including at this phase, staying up to date with vaccines remains the best way to reduce our vulnerability to this virus and its most serious effects,” Harrist said.
“Booster doses have become more important over time and are recommended for everyone ages 5 and older, with second booster doses recommended for everyone ages 50 and older,” Harrist said. “Those with certain health conditions that could affect their immunity should ask their healthcare provider whether they should receive additional or booster doses.”
While it may take a short time for new information to be updated and fully available from all sources, convenient ways to find where to get COVID-19 vaccines include:
- Visit this site in English or this site in Spanish to search and find vaccine sites.
- Text your ZIP code to 438829 (GETVAX) or 822862 (VACUNA) to find up to three nearby locations that have vaccines available.
- Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233 for phone-based help.
All COVID-19 vaccine doses, whether for children or adults, continue to be offered at no cost to those who receive them.
More information from WDH about vaccination in Wyoming can be found online.