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First shipment of COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 arrives in Charlotte

The doses for this age group are much smaller than those for other age groups.
The doses for this age group are much smaller than those for other age groups.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 12:28 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Staff at StarMed in west Charlotte opened their first box of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children between six months and 5 years old.

The vaccines are inside the clinic on Tuckaseegee Road, but they won’t be going into arms on Monday. Parents can instead go to StarMed’s website and start making appointments that will begin as early as Wednesday.

The Eastland Clinic on Central Avenue will also offer vaccinations, as will two other locations in North Carolina, one in Greensboro, and the other in Jacksonville.

That first shipment held vials of the Moderna formula designated for the just-approved age group - six months to 5 years of age.

Related: COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 will become available in N.C. this week

The dose for this age group is much smaller than those for other age groups. The Moderna vaccine consists of two shots one month apart. The Pfizer vaccine requires three shots; the first two are three weeks apart, with a third dose eight weeks later.

Moderna has been authorized to provide a third dose as well, but that would most likely be for children who have certain types of immunocompromise.

“We are thrilled to be able to protect our youngest people and provide another step toward ending the pandemic,” Dr. Arin Piramzadian, Chief Medical Officer at StarMed Healthcare said. “It is important to vaccinate as much of our population as possible and this provides children, their families, and their communities better protection.”

Doctors say getting kids vaccinated is key as those six months to 5 years old are being hospitalized for COVID-19 at a higher rate than any other age group of children.

Children may experience some mild side effects from the vaccine, such as fever, a sore arm or headache.

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