Children 6 months and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, and Wilson County Health Department officials say the shots are now available here.
The health department begin offering new pediatric doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children 6 months to 4 years old Thursday, according to Celita Graham, the health department’s communications manager.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Moderna and Pfizer shots for children 6 months and older on June 17, followed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending the vaccines.
“The pediatric Pfizer vaccine series consists of three doses,” Graham said. “Non-immunocompromised children should receive their second dose three to eight weeks after their first and their third dose at least eight weeks after their second,” Graham said.
She said the regimen of shots for immunocompromised children is the same, but those children should adhere to a three-week interval between their first and second doses.
Parents or guardians can call the county’s COVID-19 hotline at 252-360-0500 to schedule an appointment or ask questions.
Madison Lyndon, nurse manager at Eastern Carolina Pediatrics in Wilson, said her office will offer Pfizer vaccines for current patients over the next few weeks.
“We will do ages 6 months to 11 years old by appointment,” Lyndon said.
She added that parents can visit Eastern Carolina Pediatrics’ Facebook page or the office’s website for more information, which will be forthcoming.
The Moderna vaccine for children will initially begin with two doses, according to state health officials.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says children from ages 3-5 have the option of getting vaccinated at a pharmacy or grocery store in addition to a doctor’s office or health center.
“Children under 3 years are not able to be vaccinated by a pharmacist,” according to an agency news release.
The state’s vaccine finder shows vaccines for children 6 months to 4 years old also are available at the Wilson Community Health Center on Green Street and the Wilson Value Drug Store on Nash Street.
Graham said Wilson County is still seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The health department reported 83 positive cases in the past week, bringing the total case count since the pandemic began to 22,732.
She said this data doesn’t include people who test positive for COVID-19 using at-home tests.
As of last week, Graham said, more North Carolina counties are reporting medium to high COVID transmission rates. But Wilson County’s community transmission level remains low, according to the CDC.
This year alone, 54 Wilson County residents have died as result of COVID-19, bringing the county’s death toll to 323 since the pandemic began, according to the health department.
Wilson Medical Center has averaged three COVID-19 admissions each week since June 1, officials said.