A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination for children under five sits on a counter at Walgreens pharmacy Monday, June 20, 2022, in Lexington, S.C. Today marked the first day COVID-19 vaccinations were made available to children under 5 in the United States. Credit: Sean Rayford

Maine kids between the ages of 6 months and 5 years are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after federal regulators approved both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for young children this weekend.

Some locations in the state began receiving vaccines on Monday, while more doses are expected to arrive in the next few weeks. The Pfizer vaccine is administered in three doses, while the Moderna vaccine is just two doses, although a third dose may be approved at some point. Both child vaccines come in significantly smaller doses than their adult counterparts.

In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was roughly 80 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infection after three doses, while the Moderna vaccine was 51 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 among children between the ages of 6 months to 2 years and 37 percent effective among those aged 2 to 5 years.

While severe illness among children who contract COVID-19 is rare, 58 kids under age 5 have been hospitalized with the virus in Maine since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maine’s largest health care providers, including MaineHealth and Northern Light Health, are encouraging parents to contact their pediatrician or primary care provider to schedule a vaccination appointment. A Northern Light Health spokesperson said the first vaccines will be administered next week as the health system is working to finalize workflows for its practices and electronic health records.

But vaccinations for the youngest children are also available sooner at walk-in sites, such as the York Emergency Management Agency site in Sanford, and certain pharmacy locations for kids aged 3 and older. Use the map below to see a full list of sites.