Jun 21, 2022 - News

What to know about under-5 COVID vaccines in Massachusetts

Illustration of a stack of wooden toy blocks showing a syringe, a COVID cell and a cotton swab.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are finally available for children under the age of 5 and parents are scrambling to find appointments for their little ones.

What's happening: The Baker administration authorized children from 6 months to 4 years old to get either a Moderna or Pfizer shot Friday.

  • This follows federal clearance last week.
  • The Pfizer vaccine will be a course of three pediatric doses, while Moderna will be two doses for full vaccination.

State of play: The state expects more than 400 state-run and private locations for the newly eligible age group to open in the coming weeks.

  • The Department of Public Health says to go to pediatricians' offices, community health centers, state-supported vaccination sites or mobile clinics to find doses.
  • The good old Vaxfinder tool now includes pediatric clinics.

What they're saying: "We know parents and families have been waiting for this, and we are pleased to have this last age group approved for the COVID-19 vaccine," DPH chief medical officer Dr. Estevan Garcia said in a press release Sunday.

  • The state has a new website with up-to-date information on vaccines for young children.

Meanwhile: Since the announcement that vaccines for young kids were on the way, some parents have been struggling to find appointments with pediatricians not yet prepared to vaccinate a huge new chunk of the underage population.

  • Weymouth mom Amy Derjue, who told Axios she has a 6-month-old, is caught between a pediatrician who hasn't set up a vax clinic and pharmacy chains with policies against babies getting their shots there.
A screenshot of a tweet about how hard it is to get young kids vaccinated.
Pharmacies are a big part of the state's vaccination system, but many have policies against treating babies. Screenshot: @derjue/Twitter

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