Santa Clara County health officials said Monday it would open three county sites for Covid-19 vaccinations for the county’s youngest children as early as Tuesday, assuming the vaccine supplies arrive as scheduled.
The county was scheduled to receive its first allocation of the special early childhood formulation vaccines today.
The vaccinations will be available on an appointment-only basis, the county said. Families can make appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for children six months through 5 years old through www.sccfreevax.org.
“We know how long families have been waiting for this moment. This will be our final step in being able to vaccinate everyone in our community, of every age,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “We know that many families feel great relief knowing that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available to keep their young children as safe as possible.”
Cody urged residents with young children to get them vaccinated soon after they are eligible, as Covid transmission remains high in the county. The CDC on Friday approved the vaccines for children as young as six months old, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier had authorized Moderna's shot for children aged six months to five years, and Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for children aged six months to four years.
Dr. Ahmad Kamal, the county's Covid-19 director of healthcare preparedness, said the county has been preparing for the approval of vaccines for young children “for weeks.”
Kamal said the vaccines will be available at county-run sites at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, and at 80 Highland Ave. in San Martin plus at a vaccination site in Mountain View to serve north county residents later this week.
“We will aim, as we always have, to make vaccinations convenient, to make them accessible, to make them equitable and to make them safe for every single resident of the county, regardless of where they live or their insurance status,” Kamal said.
Recent wastewater surveillance across the county has shown levels of the virus that are similar to the height of the county's omicron variant wave during the early months of 2022.
Cody also said that the current level of transmission may be the peak of the current surge.
“The take home is Covid levels are almost as high as they were at the peak of omicron and it is really important to wear your mask when you are indoors to protect yourself,” Cody said.
According to county officials, roughly 100,000 children in Santa Clara County are between 6 months and 5 years old.
Overall, 86% of the total county population has completed their initial vaccination series. In addition, roughly 70% of those age 5 and up who are eligible for a booster vaccine dose have received one.