PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As we approach the third summer living with the coronavirus, health officials are preparing for the expansion of COVID-19 vaccines to young children.

During a press conference Friday, health officials outlined what they expect as the last group, those 6 months to five years old, are now eligible to get vaccinated.

Dr. Dawn Nolt, professor of pediatrics at OHSU School of Medicine, explained that creating vaccines for children has more complexities as health officials try to balance a correct dose.

Nolt said children haven’t been able to reap the full benefits of masking. With many young kids attending daycare, it’s been difficult to maintain safe distancing. Along with that, those ages two and younger were not able to wear a mask at all.

“The impact of viruses on young children has really been downplayed,” said Knolt.

Moderna doses reportedly have a higher quantity of the mRNA ingredient that makes the vaccine effective. While the CDC said both kinds were shown to be well-tolerated, side effects may be greater in kids who get the Moderna doses compared to Pfizer.

OHA says parents can seek out the vaccine at their pediatrician’s office, pharmacies and clinics, but the Juneteenth holiday may delay distribution across the state.

OHA’s full press conference can be viewed below:

KOIN 6 News reporter Lisa Balick contributed to this report.