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The Halifax County Health Department now has the Pfizer vaccine for children 6 months through 4-years-old. 

Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call 252-583-5021 to schedule an appointment.

The health department continues to limit appointments to the patient only or parent/guardian and child for pediatric visits. Visitors accompanying the patient should wait in the car.

The Halifax County Health Department rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine comes on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control announcing Saturday that it recommends the vaccine for young children.

CDC Director  Rochelle P. Walensky said over the past weekend,  “Together, with science leading the charge, we have taken another important step forward in our nation’s fight against COVID-19. We know millions of parents and caregivers are eager to get their young children vaccinated, and with today’s decision, they can.”

Walensky said, “I encourage parents and caregivers with questions to talk to their doctor, nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and the importance of protecting their children by getting them vaccinated.”    

The vaccine is available in North Carolina following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization and the CDC’s recommendation, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said Saturday. 

“Many parents and families have been eagerly awaiting a vaccine to protect our youngest North Carolinians,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “These vaccines are the best way to protect children from COVID-19 — they are safe, effective and free.” 

Children ages 6 months to younger than 5 get a smaller vaccine dose than any other age group. This vaccine dose differs from the vaccine that was previously authorized for children ages 5 to 11. Booster shots are currently not authorized for children in this age group. 

As with all routine vaccinations for children, these vaccines were tested and reviewed by the FDA and the CDC and their independent scientific committees to ensure they are safe for children. 

Results from ongoing clinical trials that began in March 2021 showed the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective to protect children ages 6 months to under 5 years from COVID-19. 

The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for three doses, while the Moderna will initially begin as two. Moderna is currently testing their third dose, with data expected this summer.   

There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the clinical trials for either vaccine. 

Children may experience temporary and minimal side effects. These side effects are similar to adults – a sore arm, headache and being tired or achy for a day or two.  

According to the CDC, children under 5 had the highest rate of hospitalizations compared to other pediatric groups. 

COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalization, death, MIS-C — inflammation in different parts of the body — and long-term problems with symptoms that last for months. Vaccines will help reduce infections and transmission, bringing all North Carolinians closer to fewer family disruptions ahead of the summer months and school year, NCDHHS said.