Coronavirus Health

Norton Children’s is preparing for the Friday rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for kids 6 months to 5 years old. 

The pediatric health care system received more than 10,000 doses of vaccine Wednesday, following the CDC’s approval over the weekend to provide the Pfizer and Moderna shots to younger children. 

“The good news for families is that COVID-19 is now a vaccine-preventable disease for all kids 6 months of age and older,” said Dr. Kris Bryant, an infectious disease specialist at Norton Children’s. 

The majority of the first shipment was Pfizer, which will be used starting Friday at Norton Children’s pediatricians and family practices. A pop-up clinic will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Norton Community Medical Associates Audubon location using the Moderna vaccine. 

Bryant said both vaccines are safe and effective.

“We know that some parents really value the opportunity to be vaccinated in the pediatrician’s office, even if [a different] vaccine is offered elsewhere,” she said. “So for those families, the best vaccine is the one their pediatrician offers.”

For this age group, Pfizer’s vaccine is a three-dose series; the Moderna is two doses. Each Pfizer dose is roughly one tenth the strength of an adult dose. The Moderna doses are one-quarter of the adult strength. 

Carrie Regnier, director of COVID-19 for Norton Healthcare, said they’d been preparing since they knew the FDA was going to review the Emergency Use Authorization for this age group.

Bryant said parents should take the virus seriously because even otherwise-healthy children can still get COVID and become very ill.

“COVID-19 is the most common infectious cause of death for children in this age group,” she said. “So it’s worth preventing.”

To schedule an appointment with Norton Children’s, visit nortonchildrens.com. To check for appointments at other locations, visit vaccines.gov

Aprile Rickert is WFPL's health reporter.