COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5 begin in Shelby County, officials say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccines for kids aged six months to five years.

Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna pediatric vaccines are now available, according to a release from SCHD.

Vaccines begin June 24 and are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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No appointment is needed, SCHD said.

The vaccinations are free at the following locations on a walk-in basis:

- 814 Jefferson Ave., Suite 207

- 1826 Sycamore View Rd.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine have been tested and found to be safe and effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths among children in the younger age range, SCHD said.

The main difference between the vaccines is the number of doses.

FDA: Pfizer vaccine effective for children under 5

Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is a three-dose regimen. Children will receive two doses three weeks apart and a third dose at least two months after the second dose.

The Moderna vaccine is given in two shots spaced four weeks apart.

Since the pandemic began, more than 4.8 million children ages 5 through 11 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 15,000 have been hospitalized and nearly 200 have died, SCHD said.