State Dept. of Health Resources in Distributing Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine

With children from 6 months old to 5 years old now eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Health has released a list of resources to help speed vaccination of the estimated 380,000 Washington children now eligible.

Vaccine deliveries began this week, with the DOH continuing to place orders with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as necessary. Your vaccine shipments can be tracked in the Washington State Immunization Information System.

The pediatric Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will have a maroon-colored cap on the vial, while the pediatric Moderna vaccine will be blue. (The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is orange.) Please note that the Pfizer-BioNTech dose is for children from 6 months through 4 years old; the Moderna dose is for children from 6 months through 5 years old. DOH offers the following guidance on what to do once the vaccines arrive at your clinic:

DOH will prioritize children at a higher risk for severe disease, including those with disabilities and special health care needs. The department will also utilize multiple locations and methods of vaccine delivery to ensure convenient and equitable access. Its website will be kept up to date with clinical guidance and other pertinent information.

There is also a discussion guide for physicians and other providers on discussing the vaccine with parents who may be unsure or opposed to their child being vaccinated. The guide includes what to say as well as things to keep in mind during these encounters.