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The Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) has started providing COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 6 months through five years old by appointment only.
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines will be available at MCHD, according to a press release issued by the agency. The vaccines were authorized and recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier last week.
"COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history," the press release reads.
“These vaccines are incredibly effective in preventing severe illness, disease and hospitalizations," said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. "Even healthy children can suffer serious affects from COVID-19, not just those with underlying conditions. We recommend parents and guardians talk to their child’s medical provider or their local health department about the pediatric vaccine and how it offers protection."
The Moderna vaccine is given in two doses 28 days apart for ages 6 months through 5 years. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a series of three doses for ages 6 months through 4 years, with the first two doses given three weeks apart and the third administered at least eight weeks after the second.
For ages 5 and older, the Pfizer series is two doses given 21 days apart.
To schedule an appointment at Monroe County Health Department (MCHD), call 734-240-7830. A parent or legal guardian with proof of identification must accompany clients between the ages of 6 months and 17 years to be vaccinated.
Correct mask wearing upon entering MCHD and throughout the vaccine appointment is mandatory. Individuals will not be eligible for the vaccine if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (cough, fever greater than 100.4º, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, muscle aches), flu-like symptoms, are in isolation/quarantine or waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
According to data on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) website, Monroe was listed as having a "medium" community COVID level as of last week, with 95.7 new cases per 100,000 individuals for a seven-day period.
MCHD has paused their COVID data dashboard for the summer months, with a note on the site saying it "will monitor the situation and reinstate the dashboard 'as necessary,'" and directing individuals to the MDHHS website (https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus) as well as the site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html).
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: MCHD starts administering COVID vaccine to children 5 and under