SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially issued recommendations for children ages six months and older to receive vaccinations against COVID-19.

Similarly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now authorized both the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines to be administrated to children ages six month and older, whereas only the Pfizer vaccine was previously available for children under the age of 18.

Representatives of the state have noted that this CDC advisory creates the opportunity for more than 240,000 Utah children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Vaccines for this age group are expected to arrive in Utah the week of June 20. Representatives state that the first batch of doses is expected early in the week while another batch of doses is expected to arrive later in the week.

It’s important to note that medical providers in Utah will begin to offer vaccinations to this age group over the next several days to weeks.

“We encourage parents to reach out to their child’s healthcare provider if they have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and to find out when they can get their children vaccinated. Please be patient with vaccine providers over the next couple of weeks as they receive vaccines and prepare to administer them to our youngest children,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, a pediatrician and the state epidemiologist at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Because vaccines will not be readily available for this youngest age group at all locations throughout the state immediately, it will be important for parents to check the state’s coronavirus webpage for a list of vaccine providers, as well as to verify which providers have younger pediatric vaccines available. State representatives add that parents can also contact their child’s doctor’s office or local health department for information on scheduling a vaccination.

Additionally, vaccine dosages for this age group will vary based on vaccine brand as well as the patient’s age. According to representatives:

  • Pfizer vaccine: Children ages 6 months through 4 years of age will need 3 doses to complete their primary vaccine series. The 2nd dose should be given 21 days after the 1st dose and then a 3rd dose 2 months after the 2nd dose.
  • Moderna vaccine: Children ages 6 months through 5 years of age will need 2 doses to complete their primary vaccine series. The 2nd dose should be given at least 28 days after the 1st dose. 

“The clinical trials showed these vaccines are safe for young children and can prevent them from getting sick or suffering from long-term impacts of COVID-19,” said Nolen. “Children have not been exempt from this pandemic. The Omicron wave this winter sent a number of our very youngest kids to the hospital; one-quarter of whom ended up in intensive care. Most tragically, COVID-19 has killed more children younger than 5 than flu would during 2 normal flu seasons. I think we can all agree, this is tragic. We need to help keep kids out of the hospital and now we can through vaccination. ”