Rock Island County Health Department will begin giving COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 6 months to 4 years on Wednesdays by appointment, starting on June 29.

To make an appointment, call 309-794-7080. Clinics for this age group will be held on Wednesdays with Pfizer vaccinations given during morning appointments and Moderna vaccinations given during afternoon appointments. The health department set Wednesdays aside for vaccinations of this age group for the foreseeable future.

The announcement follows approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines. Today (June 22), the health department received both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine for this age group, according to a Wednesday release.

Pharmacist Kaitlin Harring, left, administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to three year-old Fletcher Pack, while he sits on the lap of his mother, McKenzie Pack, at Walgreens pharmacy Monday, June 20, 2022, in Lexington, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

“We’ve worked hard to protect tens of thousands of Rock Island County residents from the worst of the virus that causes COVID-19,” health department Administrator Nita Ludwig said. “We are happy now to be able to protect our youngest residents and offer peace of mind to parents.”

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized to be given to children ages 6 months to 4 years in three microgram doses, with a three-week interval between the first two doses, followed by a third dose at least eight weeks after the second dose. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is authorized to be given to children 6 months to 4 years in two 25-microgram doses with 28 days between the two doses.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 13.5 million children in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, and although most children experience mild symptoms, more than 42,000 have been hospitalized in the U.S. and at least 1,240 children younger than 18 have died.

“We urge parents to continue to take this unpredictable virus seriously and have their children vaccinated as soon as possible,” Ludwig said. “Children who are vaccinated do not need to quarantine from school or day care after an exposure, unless they are showing symptoms.”

Appointments for children ages 6 months to 4 are required because young children need extra time and care during vaccination.

Everyone 5 and older can be vaccinated against COVID-19 on a walk-in basis. Moderna for 18 and older is offered on Tuesdays and Pfizer for 5 and older is offered on Fridays. All doses are available, including second boosters.

Everyone age 5 and older is eligible to receive a COVID booster five months after the completion of the initial two-dose series. Second boosters are recommended at least four months after the first booster for those who are age 50 and older and those 12 and older who are moderately or severely immunosuppressed.

The CDC offers a tool to help residents find out when a booster is appropriate for them at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html. Other providers also are offering COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Find your shot at vaccines.gov.