COVID-19 vaccines are now available for Johnson County’s youngest residents.
What happened: Over the weekend, the CDC officially gave the green light for children between six months and five years old to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
- In the United States, this amounts to nearly 20 million children who are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
- Besides children that are five months old or younger, this marks the last age group to receive vaccine eligibility in the United States.
- According to Johnson County health officials, the new eligibility applies to some 30,000 children in the county.
What is the process? Three shots of the Pfizer vaccine are recommended for children in this age group, while only two shots of the Moderna vaccine are recommended.
- Younger children who receive the Pfizer vaccine will get the first two doses 3 weeks apart, with the third dose at least two months after the second.
- Younger children who receive the Moderna vaccine will get the two doses at least four weeks apart.
Is there a clear difference? Some local health experts, including Dr. Angela Meyers in the infectious disease division at Children’s Mercy Hospital, say the differences in efficacy between the two vaccines is negligible and that parents should get their children immunized with whichever vaccine is most readily available.
- Still, parents may want to weigh potential advantages and drawbacks for both the Pfizer and Moderna shots.
- Health news site STAT reports that the three-dose Pfizer vaccine uses a smaller dosage of COVID-19 antigen, and trials have shown young children are less likely to have reactions or side effects as a result, but they have to get three separate shots to draw out the vaccine’s efficacy.
- The Moderna vaccine, on the other hand, can be done in just two shots but may prompt more severe side effects afterward.
Ask your child’s doctor: Parents are encouraged to ask their child’s pediatrician if they will be offering COVID-19 shots, but here is where else you will soon be able to get COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and under in Johnson County:
JCDHE: The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is set to start offering COVID-19 vaccines to young children at its walk-in health clinics.
- They will be available starting Monday, June 27, at the department’s Olathe and Mission walk-in clinics.
- Parents must bring an immunization record for the child, an insurance card, and an immunization consent form.
CVS: On Tuesday, CVS started administering COVID-19 vaccines to children 18 months or older through its MinuteClinic locations.
- Johnson County has MinuteClinic locations in Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park and Shawnee.
- Vaccine appointments can be made through CVS here.
Walgreens: COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be made for younger children starting this Saturday, June 25.
- However, vaccine availability at Walgreens is limited to children between 3 and 5 years old.
- Johnson County Walgreens locations include Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park and Shawnee.
- Appointments can be made here.
Children’s Mercy Hospital: Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital plans to host vaccine clinics for children in this new age group.
- The hospital will host the first clinic from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, at 5808 W. 110th Street in Overland Park.
- The second clinic will last from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 9 at the hospital’s Adele Hall Campus, at 2401 Gillham Road in Kansas City.
- Reserve an appointment for the clinic online or by calling (816) 302-6300.
AdventHealth: AdventHealth will start offering vaccines to patients under 5 years old at regular check-up appointments.
- According to a spokesperson from AdventHealth, this will likely start next week.
- The hospital will offer these vaccines at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission at 9100 West 74th Street and AdventHealth Medical Group Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at 7840 West 165th Street.