Walgreens will begin administering Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 3 years and older at select locations nationwide following FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that children as young as six months are eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The recommendation for this younger population follows the previous EUA for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 years.
Parents or legal guardians can schedule appointments ahead of the first vaccine shipments scheduled to arrive at select pharmacies next week. Appointments will be available beginning Saturday, June 25, and can be scheduled at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app, or by calling 1-800-Walgreens. Earlier appointments will be made available at select locations based on vaccine delivery in the coming days.
“Walgreens pharmacists have significant experience vaccinating younger populations and can help to ease concerns, answer questions and ensure parents feel informed and children feel comfortable during an appointment,” said Dr. Kevin Ban, M.D., chief medical officer at Walgreens.
What Parents and Guardians Need to Know
- Appointments are Highly Encouraged. Vaccinations for children aged 3 years and older will be available at select Walgreens locations. Parents or guardians are highly encouraged to make appointments for this age group to ensure the best experience. Appointments can be scheduled through Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens. Patients younger than 18 years old must have a parent or guardian present to sign the consent form at the time of immunization.*
- Vaccine Dose Schedule: Vaccines for this age group are administered at lower doses than those administered to older groups. Younger children receiving a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine should receive the initial two doses 21 days apart and the third dose at least two months following the second dose. Younger children receiving a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine should receive two doses 28 days apart. Immunocompromised children in this age group who receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are recommended to receive a third dose at least one month following the second dose to complete a primary vaccine series.
- Pharmacy Team Support. As with all COVID-19 vaccine administration, there will be a 15-minute observation period. To help pass the time, stores will have activity sheets and stickers available, plus the opportunity to print a free 5×7 photo capturing this important milestone.
Walgreens Expertise in Pediatric Immunizations
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to administer recommended vaccinations to children aged 3 and older. In that time, Walgreens has significant experience in administering recommended vaccinations to millions of children and adolescents for COVID and flu vaccines, as well as other immunizations.
Walgreens pharmacy team members are among the most trusted health resources readily available to administer vaccines and provide education to this newly eligible population and their parents or guardians. Pharmacists receive extensive training and assessments to ensure they can properly educate individuals about COVID-19 vaccines and administer them and are frequently updated on the latest CDC guidelines, which Walgreens continues to follow closely throughout the pandemic.
Walgreens COVID Second Booster Shots: Who is Eligible?
Boosters are recommended for individuals 18 and older who:
- Completed their initial series of the Moderna vaccine at least five months ago.
- Received their initial shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
A person is not required to receive the same brand of vaccine for the booster as the one administered for their initial vaccination. You’re free to choose any vaccine brand for your booster. For example, if your primary vaccine was Johnson & Johnson, you could choose Pfizer-BioNTech for your booster shot. The CDC recommends getting Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna if available.
The CDC recommends that adults 50 and older get a second booster at least four months after their first booster regardless of vaccine used. A second booster shot is also recommended four months after the first booster for individuals 12 and older who are immunocompromised. Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for both their primary shot and booster shot can also get a second booster four months after the first booster. The second booster must be either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna in all cases.