CHARLOTTE — Several providers in North Carolina have announced they are administering the newly approved COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 6 months old.
Vaccinations at StarMed Healthcare for kids ages 6 months to 5 years old began on Wednesday, the company said in a news release.
StarMed is offering more than 1,600 doses of COVID vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. They are the same as the vaccines made for adults, but they are administered to children in smaller doses.
- Pfizer recommends three doses at one-tenth the strength of an adult shot. The second shot would be three weeks after the first, followed by a third shot at least two months later.
- Moderna recommends two doses at one-fourth the strength of an adult shot. The second shot would be about four weeks after the first.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, StarMed said it might not have the Pfizer vaccine for kids younger than 5 ready by Wednesday -- it’s expected to arrive later in the day. For that reason, they administered Moderna that day.
Parents can register their children here to get vaccinated at a StarMed Healthcare location. There is no cost to get vaccinated with or without insurance, and you can get the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of your immigration status. Appointments are not required but are encouraged.
Four StarMed locations, including two in Charlotte, are offering the vaccines:
- FreeMore Clinic, 4001 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte
- Eastland Clinic, 5344 Central Avenue, Charlotte
- Four Seasons, 410 Four Seasons Town Centre, Greensboro
- 4355 Gum Branch Road, Jacksonville
“We are thrilled to be able to protect our youngest people and provide another step toward ending the pandemic,” said StarMed’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Arin Piramzadian. “It is important to vaccinate as much of our population as possible and this provides children, their families, and their communities better protection.”
In 2021, StarMed was part of the clinical research trial for the Moderna vaccine to help determine its safety and efficacy.
“StarMed has been proud to be part of the research for Moderna to prove that this vaccine is safe and effective for kids,” Dr. Piramzadian said. “We thank all the parents and children who have been part of the study.”
The FDA authorized the use of the vaccine in children 5 and younger on June 15 and it was approved by the CDC on June 19. The temporary side effects are similar to adults: Soreness at the injection site, a headache and being tired or achy for a day or two.
StarMed gave kids the vaccine in their legs instead of their arms.
A COVID-19 vaccination can protect children and the people around them from the virus. If a child does become infected with the virus, they may not become as sick as they would without the vaccine.
Children and families are urged to continue social distancing, wearing masks in crowded places and handwashing, even after receiving a vaccination.
Additional details are available on StarMed Healthcare’s website and on its social media.
Mecklenburg County Health Department
Mecklenburg County plans to offer vaccinations starting on Thursday. The county said it will begin offering both vaccines to children ages 6 months to 5 years on June 25. Visit their COVID-19 vaccine page for locations and hours.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
NCDHHS has more than 325 providers across all 100 counties signed up to receive and administer vaccine. At this time, NCDHHS has preordered 101,200 doses of the vaccine for distribution to providers across the state. Parents and guardians with questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk with their child’s physician.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine or booster in your North Carolina neighborhood, click here or call 888-675-4567.
(WATCH BELOW: North Carolina Gov. Cooper tests positive for COVID-19)
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