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COVID-19 vaccine now becoming available for children 5 and under

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Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 20, 2022

It's been two years in the making. Over the weekend, a CDC advisory committee voted unanimously to give the green light to vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years old.

As a result, roughly 18 million kids across the U.S. are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Alison Borgsmiller, a nurse practitioner in San Luis Obispo, told KSBY News that appointments are already filling up.

"Everyone seems to be happy we have the availability for this age group and we're already fully booked for this week," Borgsmiller said.

Among the two vaccines approved for this age group, Pfizer and Moderna, Pfizer is now a three-dose series versus Moderna's two doses.

After dose one is administered, there is a three-week waiting period before dose two. Then there is a full eight weeks before the third and final dose can be given.

As for which vaccine to choose, you might not get an option. Vaccines are based on availability throughout the county.

When we reached out to parents around the county, they all shared a similar view on the idea of choice.

"I think it’s a touchy subject and you need to be comfortable with and not pressured to do it," said Joanna Trigo, a mother of two.

"Mandates are top of mind. I think everyone should get to choose if this vaccine is right for their kids," said Michelle Wrage, another San Luis Obispo County mother.

To ease a very protective mama or papa bear's nerves, doctors are more than willing to address concerns. Among the biggest questions, what took so long? And, why now?

It's about dosage for the youngsters.

"[For] the teenage population, the dose was the same, 5 to 11-year-olds it was a little bit less, and 6 months to 5, even less. It's based on their immune system and they just need a smaller component of the vaccine to create a really good immune response," explained Borgsmiller.

Side effects are also not a big concern, according to doctors. The previous age groups reacted well and the same is expected for this youngest group.

If there are any side effects, which doctors say are not common, there could be a bit of fatigue which usually wears off in 24 hours. As of now in SLO County, the vaccine is available at pediatric offices but has not yet been allocated to drug stores or the health department.

Parents with questions are urged to contact their doctor.