COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for children under 5 years of age from the Berrien County Health Department starting Wednesday, June 29.
Vaccinations are available for children 6 months to 5 years old by appointment only. Appointments are limited. To schedule a vaccine, make an appointment online at bchdmi.org/covid19 or call 1-800-815-5485.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use of both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for this age group. BCHD will use the Pfizer vaccine for its clinics. For this age group, the Pfizer series is three doses, the first two given three weeks apart and the third dose administered at least eight weeks after the second dose.
Vaccines and booster doses are critical to protect individuals from infection and severe outcomes from COVID-19, including children. Though children make up a smaller portion of COVID-19 cases, they can still experience severe and even fatal cases of the disease. It is recommended all children aged 6 months and older get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“Parents of young children have been waiting a long time for this announcement,” Health Officer Guy Miller said. “The expansion of vaccine availability to some of our youngest community members is a great advancement in the fight against COVID-19.”
“Vaccinations and boosters are proven to be the most effective way to protect yourself and others from getting sick. We strongly encourage parents to connect with their primary care provider or the health department to learn more and get their children vaccinated.”
Vaccinations and boosters continue to be available for older children and adults throughout the county. No matter your age, staying up to date on vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and the community from COVID-19.
Berrien County Health Department hosts vaccine clinics for ages 12 and older every Tuesday in Benton Harbor and every Thursday in Niles. These clinics run 3-6 p.m. at BCHD’s Benton Harbor office, 2149 E. Napier Ave., and 3-5 p.m. at its Niles office, 1205 Front St. All three COVID-19 vaccines – Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer – are available at these clinics. To schedule an appointment, visit bchdmi.org/covid19.
A variety of other local health care organizations including InterCare Community Health Network and Spectrum Health Lakeland provide vaccine clinics at convenient locations throughout Berrien County.
If you need help finding a clinic, making an appointment or have questions about vaccines and boosters, call 1.800.815.5485 or visit bchdmi.org/covid19.