Washington is gearing up to provide COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months through 4 years old, which Saturday were approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We expect enough vaccines to meet initial demand and that supply will continue to increase in the coming days and weeks,” Washington Secretary of Health Umair Shah said on the Department of Health’s website, adding that “getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself and those around you.”
He urged parents to be patient, however, saying overwhelming demand may temporarily slow the vaccination process.
Doctors’ offices, clinics and pharmacies may not get vaccines for these young children until Tuesday or later, according to a DOH online post. Seattle Children’s has said it is expects to be one of the first local sites offering vaccines to children under 5, beginning Tuesday.
“We will continue to monitor supply to meet the needs of those seeking out COVID-19 vaccines for all age groups,” Shah said.
The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup still needs to give its approval before the vaccines will become available for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in Washington. That decision is expected this weekend, a DOH spokesperson said.
Washington has more than 460,000 children under 5. Children at that age don’t get serious cases of COVID as often as adults, and many parents nationally have said in surveys that they plan to hold off on vaccinating their kids.
But other parents are anxiously awaiting the vaccines. Local and national health officials caution that COVID can be dangerous and even fatal for children, and much is still unknown about long-term effects. Researchers say children can also spread the disease to others.
Check the DOH vaccine locator
You can also check the state’s PrepMod tool to find even more vaccination clinics. The site is updated continuously with open clinics and includes details about the types of offered vaccinations at each location.
People with questions or who could use help scheduling an appointment can call the state’s COVID hotline at 800-525-0127, press #; or call its alternate phone number, 888-856-5816.
Language assistance is available.
Search for an appointment by local health districts
Local public health departments provide information on clinics as they are scheduled. In King County, check out the Public Health – Seattle & King County scheduling tool: yourcovidvaccine.kingcounty.gov.
If you’re having trouble making an appointment online, call Public Health – Seattle & King County at 206-477-3977 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other county health districts:
Check with your pharmacy, health care provider and pediatrician
Check with your health care provider and child’s pediatrician to learn if appointments are available.
Appointments with UW Medicine can be booked online at uwmedicine.org/coronavirus/vaccine, or by calling 844-520-8700. To book an appointment at MultiCare, call its automated line at 833-770-0530.
Retail pharmacies also provide vaccines through the federal pharmacy program:
Material from The Seattle Times archives is included in this report.