MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Starting Friday, June 24, 2022, the Shelby County Health Department will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 6 months to 5 years old.

Children under the age of five now have the option to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Shelby County.

However, not everyone is on board with the decision now that children between the ages of six months and five years old can now receive a COVID vaccine.

The Shelby County Health Department said both the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccine have been tested and proven to be effective in preventing serious illness and death in children.

Gina Bell said she plans on getting her three-year-old son vaccinated. “The sooner the better,” Bell said. “We won’t have to worry about it.” However, some people have other concerns.

Four Tennessee Republicans sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee encouraging him to block the Department of Health from recommending the vaccine, “..there is no concrete basis for amended emergency authorization to vaccinate small children.”

In response to the letter, the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics said quote “restricting access puts children and families at risk and removes the parental option to have their child vaccinated.”

One woman said that even though she’s fully vaccinated she doesn’t plan on vaccinating her young grandchildren until they’re older.

“I think maybe it’s just too soon as far as research is concerned to know whether it’s actually effective or not,” Tracey Crawley said, hesitant on getting her young children vaccinated.

Dr. Nick Hysmith – Medical Director of Infection Prevention at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital said he highly encourages parents to get their children vaccinated. 

“We do have kids that come in and kids that die from COVID 19 and it’s a very small number. But any number is unacceptable in a vaccine-preventable situation,” Dr. Hysmith said.

There will be two locations offering vaccinations Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointments are necessary. Vaccinations will be offered on a walk-in basis.

You can visit the Health Department at the following locations:

814 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 207 – Memphis, TN 38105
1826 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

The Health Department would like to remind people that vaccinations are free and widely available at pharmacies or other vaccination site around Shelby County.