How to get your young children vaccinated for COVID in York County

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Parents who want to immunize their young children against COVID-19 now have that opportunity in York County. 

WellSpan Health and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are scheduling appointments for children ages 6 months to 5 years to receive the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.  

The vaccines were recently approved for use in children in that age range by the Food and Drug Administration. WellSpan’s and UPMC’s offering of those immunizations also aligns with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

Pharmacist Kaitlin Harring administers a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination to 3-year-old Fletcher Pack while he sits on his mother’s lap Monday at a Walgreens in Lexington, South Carolina.

Parents or guardians of 6-month-old to 5-year-old children can schedule appointments at WellSpan through MyWellSpan.com or by calling 855-851-3641. Parents can also schedule an appointment at WellSpan.org/COVID19. Walk-in appointments are not available at this time. 

Parents or guardians also can schedule vaccinations for children between 6 months to 11 years old at some WellSpan Pediatric and WellSpan Family Medicine practices. You do not need to be a WellSpan Health patient to be immunized at those locations. 

For UPMC, parents who want to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination for their 6-month to 5-year-old children will need to call their pediatrician's office for an appointment. Parents can find the nearest office at www.childrenspeds.com.

The UPMC CCP-York phone number is 717-757-3400. 

More:COVID cases approach 3 million milestone in Pennsylvania

More:America’s tots start getting their COVID vaccinations

“The COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be safe and effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among both adults and children ages 5 and older, and we are excited that younger children will now get the chance to receive the vaccine as well,” Dr. Mark Goedecker, vice president and chief medical officer, primary care service line, WellSpan Health said in a statement.

“While children under 5 do typically have a lower risk from COVID-19, there have recently been higher hospitalization rates among these children compared to older children and adults," he noted. "Expanding access to this vaccine to those young children will hopefully go a long way in keeping children here in South Central Pennsylvania and across the country from getting and spreading the virus.” 

The FDA made its recommendation to allow a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine in those younger children on June 15. The CDC followed suit. The recommendation is for the young children to receive three doses that are a tenth of the adult dosage. The second dose is recommended three weeks after the first dose, with the third dose then administered eight weeks later. 

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a primary series of two doses, one month apart, to children ages 6 months through 17 years. The vaccine is also authorized to provide a third primary series dose at least one month after the second dose for some immunocompromised children. 

— Reach Anthony Maenza at amaenza@yorkdispatch.com or @atmaenza on Twitter. 

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.