500 COVID-19 vaccine appointment for young kids fill up within minutes, PHMDC says

Agency working to get more vaccine doses for county's youngest residents

MADISON, Wis. — Appointments for young children to receive COVID-19 vaccines filled up quickly since they became eligible for vaccination over the weekend, Public Health Madison & Dane County said.

The agency opened 500 vaccination appointments earlier this week. Within minutes, all of them were booked.

Given the strong initial demand, PHMDC communications coordinator Morgan Finke said the agency has already put in an order for a new shipment of doses.

“We are happy to see that there is a desire to have these vaccines right away. For the 5 to 11 age group, we didn’t quite see that same kind of reaction to having that availability,” she said.

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows 28.3% of Wisconsinites between the ages of 5 and 11 have received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Thursday, far below the total population at 64.5%.

PHMDC is encouraging parents of children between 6 months and 4 years old to first try to book an appointment with the child’s pediatrician. The agency said it will not be able to accommodate walk-in vaccination appointments for those young kids.

Moderna’s vaccine is getting some interest from parents because it has fewer doses than its Pfizer counterpart.

“We have heard from parents on our social media, just reaching out about the fact that they’re looking for that two-shot series because they aren’t interested in convincing their toddler to get a third shot, so I can see why that would be an appeal,” Finke said. “But I can reassure parents that both vaccines are equally safe and effective.”

Doses for the children’s versions of the vaccines are a fraction of that of adult doses.

Prescriptions for the vaccines are not needed at PHMDC clinics.