WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (News Release) – Following authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Novant Health today announced that it will begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 6 months to less than 5 years of age on Monday, Jun. 27 at select pediatric and family medicine clinics.
Novant Health may have limited appointments due to initial supply and demand and anticipates greater appointment availability across all locations in the near future.
When: Appointments are required and availability may vary by clinic location.
Where: Novant Health pediatric and family medicine clinics across North Carolina in the Charlotte and Winston-Salem markets.
How to schedule: Established patients are encouraged to check their pediatric or family medicine clinic’s website or Facebook page to find out if their clinic is offering the vaccine and to call their provider to schedule an appointment.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 6 months to less than 5 years of age is administered as a three-dose primary series, over the course of 11 weeks, but is a lower dose (3 micrograms) and a different formulation than that used for individuals 5 to 11 years of age (10 micrograms) or 12 and older (30 micrograms). Prior to last week’s authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID -19 vaccine to include children 6 months to less than 5 years of age, the vaccine was authorized for people ages 5 and older.
To date, Novant Health has administered over 52,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to young adults under 18 years of age, with nearly 24,000 of those patients now fully vaccinated with two doses. Overall, the health care system has administered over 618,500 doses of all vaccine, with more than 285,000 fully vaccinated.
Will children 6 months to less than 5 years of age receive the same vaccine as those 5 and up?
No. Those in the 6 months to less than 5 years of age group will receive a vaccine that is three-tenths of the dose given to children ages 5 to 11 and one-tenth of the dose given to those ages 12 and up.
Is this a three-dose series?
Yes. All children 6 months to less than 5 years of age must receive three doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The first two will be given three weeks apart and the third and final dose will be given at least 8 weeks apart.
Will there be a choice between Pfizer or Moderna for children under 5?
Novant Health is currently only offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 6 months to less than 5 years. If a parent is interested in the Moderna vaccine for their child, we encourage them to visit www.vaccines.gov or the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website to find a vaccination site nearby.
How do I find out if my child’s pediatrician is offering vaccine?
The number of clinics with vaccine will change daily. Please check your pediatric clinic’s website or Facebook page to find out if they are offering the vaccine and call to schedule an appointment.
If my child already has an upcoming appointment scheduled for something else, can they get the COVID vaccine during this same appointment, or do I need to schedule this separately?
Yes. If your child’s pediatric clinic has vaccine available, it may be administered at that time.
Will Novant Health automatically schedule the second and third dose appointments?
Yes. The second and third dose appointments will be scheduled on-site during the first dose appointment.
Will legal guardians need to provide proof of age to verify eligibility?
No. Parents will be asked to attest their child’s age.
Will patients 6 months to less than 5 years of age need a parent or guardian with them? Do they need parental consent to receive the vaccine?
Yes. North Carolina passed a new law that requires written or electronic consent from a parent/guardian for a minor to receive a vaccine that has been granted an emergency use authorization and is not fully approved by the FDA. This includes the Pfizer COVID-vaccine. Parents/guardians will be able to complete this step in MyChart, using the electronic check-in function. Minors who are 16 or 17 can give their own consent for the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and written parental consent is not required because the Pfizer vaccine is fully FDA approved for those age 16 and older. Parents or legal guardians need to give their permission in writing for the booster dose.
Is the vaccine free for all ages?
Yes. All COVID-19 vaccines are free for every individual, including those who do not have insurance.