PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Now that Oregon and Washington have given the green light for COVID vaccines to be given to kids as young as 6 months old, parents can soon begin scheduling appointments for their kids.
Even though the Oregon Health Authority told health care providers it’s OK to give young children the vaccine, it will be a little while before the specific, much smaller vaccine doses for the under-5 age group are shipped.
Most places are waiting until the vaccines arrive before they begin offering appointments.
In fact on Vaccines.gov — the federal site to find COVID shots in your area — there was not even a space yet to click to find a shot for the under-5 group.
State health officers are closed Monday for the federal Juneteenth holiday. But KOIN 6 News learned they are still waiting for vaccine shipments to arrive, so the hospital and county clinics are on hold.
Pharmacies that KOIN 6 News checked are also waiting. But Walgreens is allowing people to make an appointment for next week for COVID shot to be given to the 6-month to age-5 group.
In Oregon, pharmacists right now can only give those shot to those ages 3 and up.
While there may be an initial rush to get kids the series of COVID shots, there is also a hesitancy.
“COVID has been quite common in children, actually. We think maybe almost 70% of kids have ended up getting infected with COVID,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. “Still, it’s worth getting the vaccine. It really offers an extra level of a level of protection, an extra layer of protection. What vaccines do is they keep kids out of the hospital and that’s why they are so effective.”
Some Portland pediatric officers are scheduling appointments for as soon as this Thursday, but most are waiting until they receive the doses for the little kids — far less than an adult dose for the Moderna and Pfizer-approved vaccines.
Keep checking with your pediatrician and county website for the latest details and appointment times.