Finally! Covid Vaccines Are Available for Little Ones Around DC

Here's how to get your under-5s protected.

Image by FatCamera via iStock/Getty Images Plus

Children between 6 months and 5 years old can finally get vaccinated against Covid-19 starting this week. Call your pediatrician first. Here’s what else you need to know:

Who’s eligible for what shot:

The Moderna vaccine requires two doses four weeks apart and is approved for children 6 months to 5 years old.

The Pfizer vaccine requires three doses: the first two administered three weeks apart and the third dose eight weeks after the second. It’s approved for children 6 months to 4 years old. (Pfizer already has a vaccine for kids 5-11.)

Both shots provide lower doses than the adult versions of the vaccines.

Parenting guru Emily Oster says Moderna offers more protection quickly, but Pfizer has more limited side effects. (Oster goes into a lot more detail here.)

Where can you get one?

Both Maryland and Virginia recommend parents reach out to their kid’s health care provider to determine if they are offering vaccines and when appointments are available. You can also search for hospitals, pharmacies, health centers, and doctors offices near you that may offer vaccines on both the Maryland and Virginia health department websites.

DC has eight covid centers (one per ward) that will offer the newly approved vaccines. The centers do not take appointments.

You can get appointments with pediatricians and some pharmacies in DC—including CVS MinuteClinics—that will offer the vaccines, but most pharmacies will vaccinate only children 3 years old and up. Your pediatrician’s office is an especially good place to get your kid vaxxed, because the CDC says it’s safe to get other vaccinations alongside it. Call ahead wherever you decide to go.

Do you need to worry about supply in DC?

At first. The city centers will receive 150 doses of each vaccine Tuesday, then 140 doses of Moderna and 60 doses of Pfizer each day after. Until supplies grow, you’ll need to bring proof of DC residency (an ID or a piece of mail addressed to you) with you.

How much do the shots cost?