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COVID vaccines for children six months and older are available in Columbus

 Columbus Public Health
Tyler Thompson
Columbus Public Health, located on Parsons Avenue.

COVID-19 vaccines for kids six months and older are rolling out this week in Columbus.

Columbus Public Health made the Pfizer vaccine available starting Wednesday at its walk-in clinic on Parsons Avenue.

Philip Tanjong is the immunization program director at Columbus Public Health.

“It’s been proven that kids also get COVID," Tanjong said. "And they can get seriously ill and get hospitalized. It’s a great opportunity, it’s the same vaccine people have been getting for two years now.”

Columbus Public Health is also waiting on a shipment of the Moderna vaccine for children which should arrive early next week. The department will host a clinic Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tanjong hopes people come out and get vaccinated.

"If you haven't received the vaccine, I would strongly urge that you vaccinate your child because they're more vulnerable," he said.

Nationwide Children's hospital has both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available for children six months and up. It started administering those vaccines Tuesday.

Michael Storey is a medication use strategist with the hospital's pharmacy team.

"In the age group of six months to four years, COVID-19 was the fifth leading cause of death last year and it was the leading infectious cause of death last year," said Storey.

Storey said side effects are similar to those found in older adults, though it is like comparing apples to oranges in those studies.

"COVID-19 should really be at the top of your list for the infectious causes of harm to your child," he said. "We really are encouraging people to not dismiss that risk, but realize that comparing it to adults doesn't necessarily mean that the risk is low for children."

Vaccines at Nationwide Children's hospital are by appointment only at its main campus. It offers nearly 1000 appointments per week.

Tyler Thompson was a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.