Harris County Public Health begins vaccine rollout for young children

Harris County Public Health begins vaccine rollout for young children

Starting June 24, Harris County Public Health will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 6 months to 5 years old, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

Hidalgo announced June 23 that the “little pediatric vaccines” will be available at no cost at over 20 sites across the county.

“I know how long parents and caretakers of our little ones have been waiting for a vaccine for our little babies,” Hidalgo said. “The day is here.”

Dr. Ericka Brown, division director for the Community Health and Wellness Division at HCPH, said that those with concerns about risks to young infants should reach out to a pediatrician.

“We know the vaccine is effective and safe,” Brown said.

Dr. Jean Raphael, director of the Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy at Texas Children’s Hospital, reiterated the safeness of the pediatric vaccine, saying it had been trialed on thousands of children across the country and across all groups, including racial minorities.

Raphael noted that children are vulnerable to COVID-19 because their immune systems are still developing. Living with other family members can also make children more susceptible to the disease, according to Raphael.

“Children exist within the context of their families,” Raphael said. “A lot of our children, particularly underserved children, live in multigenerational homes where there are grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, multiple siblings. They sort of inherit all the risks of everyone else’s activities.”

HCPH will offer both the two-dose Moderna vaccine and three-dose Pfizer vaccine.

“If we see high demand, we have the flexibility to expand,” Hidalgo said. “We specifically selected communities with lower access to hospitals or transportation.”

The city of Houston began offering vaccines on June 22.

To find out more about vaccination sites or to schedule an appointment, visit readyharris.org or call 832-927-8787. Appointments are not required at HCPH vaccination sites.

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