DHHS Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility To Children 6 Months Old and Up

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention post supporting vaccinating young children.

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announces COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children as young as six months of age.

 Over the weekend, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously voted to recommend both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for infants and younger children after reviewing data showing that both vaccines are safe and effective.

In North Conway, Memorial Hospital has begun booking appointments for COVID-19 vaccines for children under five years of age. (more information below) In Lebanon, Dartmouth Health Children’s has released a new COVID-19 update video with Susanne E. Tanski, MD, MPH, section chief of general pediatrics at Dartmouth Health Children’s. This video discusses the recent news about emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccines for children age six months to four years and answers common questions and concerns.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years is given as a 2-dose primary series, and people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised can receive a 3rd additional dose as part of their primary series. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age is given as a 3-dose primary series, regardless of a person’s immunocompromised status. It is likely that both primary series will require boosters in the future.

“We are excited for this new recommendation that now allows parents and caregivers to protect their young children from COVID-19 and potential health complications,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan. “These vaccines are safe and effective, and we recommend that everybody 6 months of age and older get vaccinated. Parents and caregivers should start by contacting their primary care providers to ask about vaccine availability.”

DHHS has been preparing for COVID-19 vaccines approval for this age group for several weeks. 22,700 doses of pediatric vaccine have already been ordered and close to 10,000 doses have been delivered to New Hampshire, with more shipments arriving weekly.

More than 200 providers in the state are providing COVID-19 vaccine in this age group. Parents and caregivers should first talk to their child’s pediatrician to see if they are administering vaccine. If a child’s pediatrician is not administering vaccine, parents and caregivers can go to vaccines.nh.gov for a map of public vaccination providers in the state or www.vaccines.gov to search for vaccines by age group.

 Vaccinating everyone, including children 6 months and older, provides the best defense against serious outcomes related to COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 in NH, please visit https://www.nh.gov/covid19/.

In North Conway, Memorial Hospital has begun booking appointments for COVID-19 vaccines for children under five years of age.

“We are now able to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to all age groups,” says Memorial’s Emergency Management Coordinator Will Owen RN. “This approval is another step in controlling this pandemic.”

Vaccine appointments are available to the public during the hospitals regular vaccine hours of Wednesdays from 9:30 until 2:30. Memorial has also added special hours on Tuesday June 28 from 8 a.m. until noon to accommodate the increase in pediatric appointments. These appointment times are open to all ages but registration is required by calling (603) 356-5472 or visiting vaccine.mainehealth.org. Children under 18 must have a parent or guardian present.

Mt. Washington Valley Rural Health patients may also schedule a vaccine during regular primary care hours.

All vaccines are administered at the Mt. Washington Valley Rural health Primary Care offices on the Memorial Hospital campus in North Conway.

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