With the approval of kid-sized doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, parents are now faced with a new challenge: finding an appointment.
While walk-in appointments for people ages 12 and up have been available for months, doses for younger kids will require appointments — at least initially. For now, appointments are scarce and there is no comprehensive way to search for doses for children ages 5 to 11.
The Pfizer pediatric vaccine is given as a two-dose series, three weeks apart. Each dose is 10 micrograms, a third of the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 and older.
The vaccine locator tool from the Washington state Department of Health added an option to search for pediatric Pfizer doses on Wednesday but said the functionality is limited right now since there are few appointments available.
With Washington state set to receive an initial limited supply of about 315,000 doses, including 86,000 doses through a federal pharmacy program, officials say families may need to seek vaccines from various providers for their children. Over time, the supply will increase and all eligible children will be able to receive a vaccine.
“As parents, the first thing that we want to do is to get our kids vaccinated today, but we also recognize that there are going to be some limitations when it comes to the supply,” said Dr. Umair Shah, the state’s health secretary.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started shipping pediatric doses this week, but many providers may not have supplies, procedures or appointments in place, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County, which said some providers may not receive the vaccine until next week.
Here are a few ways to locate a vaccine for young children. Check back for updates.
Check DOH vaccine locator
Check back with DOH’s vaccine locator site by visiting vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov to see if pediatric vaccines are available.
People with questions or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment are advised to call the state’s COVID hotline at 833-VAX-HELP.
Language assistance is available.
Sign up for UW’s waitlist
As of Wednesday, more than 9,500 children have already been signed up for University of Washington’s vaccine appointment waitlist, according to UW Associate Vice President for Clinical Operations Cynthia Dold.
While there have been around 2,000 appointments scheduled starting Thursday, Dold said UW is expecting to schedule 15,000 appointments in the next 10 days, with about 20,000 first doses expected to be initially available.
Call 844-520-8700 to join the vaccine appointment waitlist. From there, someone will contact you by phone or text to schedule an appointment.
Search for an appointment through the city of Seattle
Currently, two sites are listed but appointments aren’t available.
- West Seattle Clinic: 6400 Sylvan Way S.W.
- Amazon Clinic: 2031 Seventh Ave.
King County‘s vaccine locator tool currently does not have a function to search for pediatric doses.
Check with your local pharmacy, health care provider and pediatrician
While some vaccines will arrive to health organizations through the state, some doses will arrive to retail pharmacies like Kroger, QFC, Safeway and Walgreens through the federal pharmacy program.
According to a news release, Walgreens will begin administering the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 5 to 11 nationwide starting Saturday.
Speak to your health care provider and child’s pediatrician if appointments are available.