New Hampshire became the first state in the US to announce the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for children under five years old on Tuesday, 21 June.
The US Centers for Disease Control approved the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to children under the age of five on Saturday, 18 June.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement on 21 June said that vaccines had been made available for children under five years of age.
Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines? Are they safe for children? Here's everything you need to know.
Which COVID-19 vaccines have been made available?
The US CDC approved the administration of the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to children under the age of five. According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to children six months through five years of age as a 2-dose primary series vaccine.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be administered to children six months through four years of age and will be given as a 3-dose primary series, they added.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the two vaccines on 17 June, after posting an analysis of the vaccines' safety for children.
“Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to 6 months of age. As we have seen with older age groups, we expect that the vaccines for younger children will provide protection from the most severe outcomes of COVID-19, such as hospitalization and death," FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said.
“Those trusted with the care of children can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of these COVID-19 vaccines and can be assured that the agency was thorough in its evaluation of the data.”
Who's eligible to get the vaccine?
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been approved as a regular 2-dose series vaccine for children six months to five years. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are also eligible for a 3rd booster dose of the vaccine as part of their primary series of vaccinations.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is given as a 3-dose primary series to children aged six months to four years and all others, regardless of whether they are immunocompromised or not.
They also said the both vaccines will likely need booster doses in the future.
When will the vaccines be rolled out?
According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, 22,700 doses of the vaccine have already been ordered and over 9,000 doses have already been delivered to New Hampshire, with more shipments arriving weekly. More than 200 providers in the state are providing COVID-19 vaccine in this age group.
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