Jun 21, 2022 - News

Colorado prepares thousands of COVID shots for kids under 5

Illustration of a toy dinosaur with a bandaid on it's arm.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Colorado children as young as 6 months can get their COVID-19 shots starting Wednesday, after both the Pfizer and Moderna doses were recommended by the CDC.

Why it matters: The coronavirus is one of the five leading causes of death in children in the U.S., according to CDC advisers.

State of play: Pfizer's three-dose series was authorized for kids up to age 4, while Moderna's two-dose regimen got approval for kids up to 5.

  • Colorado will distribute the vaccines in waves, with 31,600 doses of both Moderna and Pfizer allocated for the first two waves, per the state's health department.
  • Roughly 270 providers have already placed orders, including pediatric clinics, school-based health centers, large hospitals and local public health agencies, along with some retail pharmacies.
  • Colorado's health department will also deploy mobile vaccine clinics to several Children's Hospital Colorado locations throughout the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs, beginning Wednesday.

Of note: There are roughly 331,000 kids in Colorado under age 5, most of whom are eligible for vaccination, the latest U.S. Census records show.

Parents, here's what to know:

  • Vaccine providers are taking appointments in advance. Find a list of providers for kids, or use the map on the state of Colorado's vaccine finder page to locate a provider near you.
  • "The known and potential benefits of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the known and potential risks in the pediatric populations authorized for use for each vaccine," the FDA said Friday.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can also safely be given at the same time as other routine childhood vaccines, like tetanus and polio, according to Colorado's health department.

What they're saying: "I cried and laughed and frantically signed her up for the first appointment I can find," Lies van Bekkum, a clinical psychologist and parent of two, told 9News.

  • "It feels like a layer of protection that we’ve been missing," she added.

Between the lines: The urgency that many Colorado parents experienced as they hoped to vaccinate their children in January — when doses were expected to be OK'd for little ones — has waned, Heather Roth, Colorado's immunization branch chief, told the state board of health last week.

  • Hesitancy has since increased, and the number of parents planning to secure immediate shots for their tots has dropped.

The bottom line: Vaccines remain "the safest, most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help avoid the worst outcomes for Coloradans of all ages," Roth said in a statement.


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