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United Way of Lancaster County


Covid-19 vaccination for children under 5 begins in Lancaster County

(Source: ABC 7)

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated Thursday, June 23, to add newly released vaccine scheduling information from WellSpan Health.)

Vaccinations of children under 5 against Covid-19 have begun in Lancaster County.

Following federal approval last week of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children aged 6 months and up, Union Community Care began administering the shots to its youngest patients Wednesday, spokeswoman Nicole Specht said. The federally qualified health center serves low-income and marginalized populations in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

For Union Community’s vaccine information, including the contact number to schedule appointments, click here.

Nationwide, the expansion makes about 17 million young children eligible for vaccination. Shipping of the new doses only started over the weekend, however, so supplies are low. Availability is expected to expand dramatically over the next few days.

The federal website lists sites where the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine is available. As of Wednesday, it listed two pharmacies in Lancaster County with shots for the youngest children:

  • Beittel Becker Pediatric Associates
    • 2150 Noll Drive, Suite 100, Lancaster
  • Hillcrest Pharmacy
    • 3985 Columbia Ave., Columbia

The major pharmacy chains say they are securing doses as well. Under state law, pharmacists may only provide Covid-19 vaccines to children aged 3 and up.

As for local hospital systems:

  • Penn Medicine Lancaster General says it anticipates receiving supplies of the vaccine at its family medicine and pediatric practices next week and is directing patients to the MyLGHealth portal to schedule appointments.
  • A spokeswoman for the Penn State Health system said it has the shots available and is encouraging parents to reach out to their pediatricians or primary care physicians to schedule appointments.
  • UPMC is rolling out vaccine supplies to its pediatric and family offices. As of Wednesday, it was scheduling appointments at its offices in the York and Harrisburg areas.
  • WellSpan Health said Thursday it will begin scheduling appointments Friday for young children to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Parents should use the MyWellSpan portal or call (855) 851-3641.

The Pfizer vaccine for children is three doses, while the Moderna version is two doses. The Pfizer doses are 1/10th of an adult dose, while the Moderna doses are 1/4.

The second and third Pfizer shots are given three weeks and eight weeks, respectively, after the preceding shots. The second Moderna shot is given 28 days after the first.

“It is critical for parents to make sure their children receive the complete series of shots for the vaccine to be as effective as possible,” acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said in a statement.