Children as young as 6 months can get vaccinated in Baltimore County, county officials announced Tuesday, after Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines gained federal approval for young children over the weekend.
“Today, after so many months of waiting, our youngest of children are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “Parents can now feel comforted, knowing that they can provide that extra layer of protection for our youngest children.”
Appointments are required to cut down on wait times.
Parents and guardians can make a vaccination appointment for their child by visiting baltimorecountymd.gov/vaccine or by calling the county’s COVID-19 hotline at 410-887-3816.
Children – or anyone else getting vaccinated – do not need to be Baltimore County residents; they just need an appointment, said the county’s health director, William Branch.
“Come one, come all,” Branch said. “If you make an appointment, we will vaccinate you. We have no problem with that at all.”
Branch said it was fitting that the county was rolling out vaccinations for young children on the first day of summer as the warmer weather draws families and friends to gather with loved ones.
“As we all know, summertime is a great time to be out for some great celebration, to relax and enjoy our family and friends and loved ones,” he said.
Baltimore County is home to about 45,000 children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old, Olszewski said.
The county executive said he hopes parents will get their children vaccinated to protect their own kids and the rest of the community.
“This virus is still with us,” Olszewski said. “It will be with us for some time. The vaccines remain the very best way to reduce the severity of the [illness] and save lives.”
Branch acknowledged that some parents have reservations about getting their children vaccinated, but he said they need not worry.
“It has been proven to be efficacious,” he said. “It has been proven to be safe.”
When Branch was infected with COVID-19, he said he feared for the safety of his family.
“One of the scariest things that happened when I got COVID was the possibility I could give it to my 85-year-old mother; the possibility that I could give it to the newborn…. To know at this particular time that everyone in the family can get vaccinated is just priceless for me and is a relief for me that I can protect the entire family,” he said.
Olszewski was also previously infected with COVID-19, as was his 6-year-old daughter. Both were vaccinated and experienced mild COVID symptoms.
Olszewski was particularly relieved that the vaccine allowed his daughter to recover easily and remain healthy.
“Because of the vaccine, she was able to come through without any significant issues,” he said.