In a press release from the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), recommendations for safe, free and effective vaccines meant to help prevent COVID-19 have broadened to include children 6 months and older.

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According to Dr. Alexia Harrist, a state health officer and state epidemiologist with WDH, everyone aged 6 months and above should receive COVID-19 vaccines if they have not already. “I encourage Wyoming parents to choose vaccination for their children. We have certainly seen some children become very ill due to the virus and we also know they can spread COVID-19 to others who may be especially vulnerable to the virus and its effects.”

 Following authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), now recommends the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ranging in age from 6 months to 4 years with a three-dose series and appropriate dose amount for that age group. The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is also now recommended for children in age from 6 months to 5 years in a two-dose series for most children and appropriate dose amount.

Scientists and medical experts have completed a review of data looking at the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines from clinical trials of thousands of young children before recommending them. On a national scale, millions of older children and adults have been safely vaccinated.

Parents and guardians of newly eligible children should contact their local public health office or other COVID-19 approved vaccine providers about availability of the appropriate vaccines. These newly authorized vaccines are currently in the process of being ordered, shipped and delivered across the state of Wyoming to various locations.

Harrist said children can receive other vaccines at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. Detailed information concerning COVID-19 vaccines for children, including questions and answers for parents about safety and potential side effects, is available from the CDC's website.

“As we move through this pandemic, including at this phase, staying up to date with vaccines remains the best way to reduce our vulnerability to this virus and its most serious effects,” Harrist said.

“Booster doses have become more important over time and are recommended for everyone ages 5 and older, with second booster doses recommended for everyone ages 50 and older,” Harrist said. “Those with certain health conditions that could affect their immunity should ask their healthcare provider whether they should receive additional or booster doses.”

 All COVID-19 vaccine doses, whether for children or adults, continue to be offered at no cost to those who receive them.

For convenient ways to find where to receive COVID-19 vaccine sites visit vaccines.gov or vacunas.gov online.

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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

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