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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Statement from IHS Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler on the Availability of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 6 Months through 5 Years of Age
The Indian Health Service is announcing the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months through 5 years of age at federal, tribal and urban Indian sites. Pediatric vaccine distribution for this age group is underway to federal IHS, tribal, and urban Indian facilities across Indian Country, and many sites have already received them.
Vaccine availability for our young children is a cause for celebration for parents and families and a historic milestone in our fight against COVID-19. The United States is now the first country to protect our youngest children with COVID-19 vaccines, offering safe and highly effective mRNA doses to children. It is also a monumental step forward because, for the first time, virtually every American can access the protections from these lifesaving vaccines, from our youngest to our most senior Americans.
This step to increase COVID-19 vaccine eligibility across the age spectrum is critical in Indian Country, where the toll from serious disease, including hospitalization and death, has been more significant than in any other racial or ethnic group in the United States, regardless of age. We know that COVID-19 vaccination is the single best defense against serious illness for every age group.
Through continued safety monitoring, COVID-19 vaccination has been found safe for over 10 million children and teens who have already received at least one vaccine dose. We encourage all parents and families to vaccinate their young children as soon as possible. Contact your local IHS, tribal, or urban Indian organization facility today, or for sites outside of the Indian health system, visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination site near you. You may also call 1-800-232-0233.
The IHS is also releasing a toolkit for tribal and urban Indian communities that will include fact sheets, social media graphics, and more to help encourage vaccinations for our Native youth. The fact sheet will be posted on our IHS COVID-19 resources page soon.
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