Updated Jun 22, 2022 - Health

Where to get COVID vaccine appointments for children under 5

Child gets COVID vaccine
Young Americans are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Parents can now schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 at doctors' offices and major retailers including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, Costco, Kroger and more.

Why it matters: Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky's signing off on allowing Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 shots for children as young as 6 months old, the shots are becoming available nationwide to the youngest Americans, Axios' Tina Reed reports.

  • U.S. officials expect most shots to take place at pediatricians’ offices, the Associated Press reported, noting that many parents may be more comfortable getting the vaccine for their kids at their regular doctor.
  • Meanwhile, most pharmacy appointments are for kids 3 and older.
  • Visit vaccines.gov to see where vaccines for children are available.
COVID vaccine for kids under 5

Details: The distribution of pediatric vaccinations for younger children has started across the country.

  • The CDC said that shots will be available at thousands of pediatric practices, pharmacies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, local health departments, clinics and other locations this week.
  • Children in this younger age group can be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is available: Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

The big picture: While many parents of the youngest Americans have been anxiously awaiting the chance to get their child vaccinated, it remains unclear how strong uptake of the shot will be.

By the numbers: Nearly 20 million kids are eligible in this age group, the CDC said.

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates 8.2 million, or just more than a third of kids (36%) ages 5 to 11 have gotten at least one shot as of June 8.
  • 14.8 million U.S. kids ages 12 to 17 (59%) have gotten at least one COVID shot.
Pfizer COVID vaccine three-dose series
  • Pfizer's vaccine was approved as a three-dose series for children 6 months through 4 years old.
  • Each dose is about a 10th of the size of an adult dose and FDA advisers warned this week that parents need to be aware that all three doses are needed to develop a sufficient immune response to fight infection.
  • Children would receive the first two doses three weeks apart. The third dose would be delivered at least two months later.
Moderna vaccine two shots
  • Moderna's vaccine was approved as a two-dose series for children 6 months through 5 years old.
  • Each dose is about a quarter of the dose given to adults and each would be delivered about four weeks apart.
CVS COVID vaccine for kids under 5 at Minute Clinic

CVS is giving the Pfizer vaccine to children 18 months to 4 years at select MinuteClinic locations, the retailer said on its website Tuesday.

  • More locations will be added as inventory becomes available.
  • Appointments can be made on CVS' website.
Walgreens COVID vaccine for kids under 5

Walgreens will start administering Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 3 years and older at select locations nationwide.

  • Appointments are available beginning Saturday, June 25, and can be scheduled at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app, or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.
  • Earlier appointments will be made available at select locations based on vaccine delivery in the coming days.

What they're saying: Walgreens will "have activity sheets and stickers available, plus the opportunity to print a free 5x7 photo capturing this important milestone" during the 15-minute observation period.

Costco COVID vaccine under 5

Costco Wholesale will vaccinate children ages 3 years and older at select locations, according to its website to schedule appointments.

What they’re saying: “Supply of pediatric vaccines are limited and only available at select locations. Pediatric doses will be given by appointment only.”

Kroger COVID vaccine for young children

Kroger's website noted on Tuesday that only "select locations have pediatric doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at this time."

Rite Aid COVID vaccine for 3- and 4-year-olds

Rite Aid said on its website that "COVID-19 vaccine primary doses for children ages 3-4 (are) now available."

  • Appointments can be scheduled or "walk into your local Rite Aid."
Walmart COVID vaccine under 5

Walmart's website on Tuesday the retailer is "now administering COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 3+ as well as booster shots for children ages 5+."

H-E-B COVID appointments for Pfizer and Moderna

Select pharmacies will offer Pfizer (ages 3-4) and Moderna (ages 3-5) by appointment only, H-E-B said on its website as of Wednesday.

Hy-Vee COVID vaccine appointments under 5

Hy-Vee pharmacies are offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccine at selection locations by appointment only, the retailer said on its website in a June 21 update.

  • Hy-Vee said retail pharmacies are only authorized to administer vaccines to patients ages 3 and up.
Wegmans COVID vaccine under 5

Wegmans pharmacies are awaiting the vaccine to arrive in stores and then “will begin scheduling appointments and administering these doses,” the retailer said on its website.

  • Pharmacies will carry the Moderna vaccine for children ages 3 and 4.
COVID vaccine for children under 5 in Florida

Meanwhile, some parents in Florida will have to wait longer to get the vaccine because the Sunshine State was the only state that did not pre-order COVID vaccines for young children.

  • Axios found appointments available Saturday at a few Florida Walgreens stores by searching zip codes.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said during a press conference Tuesday that parents will be impacted by the state and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ actions.
  • DeSantis said last week the state was "affirmatively against the COVID vaccine for young kids."
  • Fried said doctors’ offices are able to order vaccines through the federal government.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information.

Go deeper