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Kids under 5 years old receive first COVID-19 vaccines at Children's National Hospital

June 21, 2022
Children's National pediatrician Sarah Schaffer DeRoo, M.D., holds her son Hewitt as he receives the COVID-19 vaccine.

After federal authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years old, Children’s National Hospital began vaccinating patients who are among this youngest age group in the D.C. region.

“For parents of our littlest kids – myself included – this is a big moment,” said Sarah Schaffer DeRoo, M.D., pediatrician at Children’s National. Dr. Schaffer DeRoo was among the first parents to get their child vaccinated this morning. “More families now have the opportunity to offer their children this important layer of protection. Vaccinating now means these little ones can return to school in the fall with the best safeguard we have available.”

Children’s National will be offering the vaccine to its existing patients, which includes:

  • Patients at Children’s National primary care locations across the region
  • Many high-risk patients at multiple specialty care centers
  • Inpatients at our main hospital

Families should talk to their pediatrician or contact their local pharmacy to determine the best place and way to get their child vaccinated. Vaccine locations can also be found at

Children’s National was one of the hospitals that participated in the clinical trial for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for this newly-authorized age group. The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 4,500 children aged 6 months through 4 years old who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study. Children’s National encourages all parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.

“It has been a silver-lining in this pandemic that most children do reasonably well with COVID-19 infections. But there are still a certain number who get severely ill and require hospitalization,” added Dr. Schaffer DeRoo. “We’re also still learning about long-haul COVID, MIS-C and the long-term impacts of this virus on kids. This is what motivates me both as a mom and as a doctor to vaccinate my child and advocate for others to do to the same.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Children’s National has focused on serving the needs of families in this region. From launching the nation’s first drive-up testing site for children to vaccinating teachers to help with return to school to administering vaccines, the hospital has been proud to support the community at every step, including this latest milestone.

Media Contact: [email protected] or 202-476-4500

About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., was established in 1870 to help every child grow up stronger. Today, it is the No. 5 children’s hospital in the nation. It is ranked No. 1 for newborn care for the sixth straight year and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus opened in 2021, a first-of-its-kind pediatric hub dedicated to developing new and better ways to care for kids. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. As a non-profit, Children's National relies on generous donors to help ensure that every child receives the care they need.

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