Published on June 22, 2022

Essentia Health to begin administering COVID vaccine for under-5 age group

Essentia Health pediatricians are encouraging COVID-19 vaccination of children ages 6 months through 4 years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone in this age group should receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

“COVID-19 has been one of the biggest public health threats in a century, with millions of people tragically losing their lives prematurely across the globe,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, an Essentia pediatrician. “Now that COVID vaccinations for children above 6 months old have been approved, we can help prevent serious illness and hospitalization among our youngsters. We urge you to reach out to your pediatrician or family practice provider to discuss vaccination opportunities for your child.”   

“As a pediatrician and father, I am very excited about the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for ages 6 months to 4 years,” said Dr. Dhilhan Marasinghe, an Essentia pediatrician. “Expanding this life saving vaccine to our youngest children provides extra protection to an already vulnerable group and moves our community one step closer to normalcy.”

The CDC’s approval follows guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At Essentia, we will be administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for this age group, in a three-dose series. The initial two doses are administered three weeks apart followed by a third dose given at least eight weeks after the second dose.

At Essentia, vaccination appointments are required and can be made with the child’s primary care provider or pediatrician. Schedule through our MyChart patient portal (preferred) or by calling (833) 494-0836. Parents will be able to start scheduling appointments on Thursday; however, appointment availability will vary by location.

We recognize that parents may be wondering if vaccination is the right thing for their child. Accordingly, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s primary care provider or pediatrician with any questions or concerns.