COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 5 available in Northeast Ohio

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Northeast Ohio kids under 5 can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine after federal officials authorized it Friday.

The Cleveland Clinic expects to receive COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 Wednesday morning, and they have 641 appointments booked already, the hospital said.

"I would say that demand is not as high as what we have seen when the vaccine became available for 5 to 11-year-olds or older children and adults," said Dr. Kim Giuliano, a pediatrician with the Cleveland Clinic.

Anyone can make an appointment, even if they don't have a pediatrician.

Kids ages 6 months up to 5 years will receive three shots that contain less of the vaccine than those for older children. The shots will be spread out: three weeks between the first and second doses and eight weeks between the second and final doses.

It's important for kids to receive all three shots because the data show one to two shots aren't effective, Giuliano said.

The COVID-19 vaccines are free, regardless of insurance or immigration status, according to the CDC.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health will not have separate clinics for the under 5 age group, but officials said they will set aside time for young kids during other planned events.

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