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COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available for children under 5 in North Dakota

Starting later this week or next week, parents will be able to get their young children the shot at more than 100 healthcare provider offices throughout the state, including local public health clinics, pediatric clinics and pharmacies.

Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine 1.jpg
A child receives a COVID-19 vaccine
Contributed / Tri-County Health Care
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BISMARCK — North Dakota parents will be able to vaccinate their young children against COVID-19 as soon as this week.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years after a rigorous review.

The North Dakota Department of Health has ordered 5,700 pediatric doses of the vaccine from the federal government, said state immunization manager Molly Howell in a news release.

Starting later this week or next week, parents will be able to get their child the shot at more than 100 health care provider offices throughout the state, including local public health clinics, pediatric clinics and pharmacies, Howell said.

The pediatric doses of the vaccine are smaller than those given to adults. The Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose series over the course of three months, and the Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series over the course of one month.

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Vaccine side effects, like irritability and pain at the injection site, were mild during clinical trials.

Though COVID-19 cases in young children are usually less severe than adult infections, they can result in hospitalizations, deaths and long-term complications. Nationally, about half of the children requiring hospitalization due to the disease had no underlying health conditions.

In North Dakota, 8,457 children ages 6 months to 4 years have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 62 were hospitalized, and one died.

"COVID-19 vaccination in older age groups continues to provide excellent protection against severe disease and death, and it is anticipated that this will also be true for younger children,” Howell said.

To find a vaccination site, go to www.health.nd.gov/covid-vaccine-locator?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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