Log in Newsletter

COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years old now available


The Cumberland County Department of Public Health now offers Moderna COVID-19 vaccination shots for children 6 months to 5 years old.

Shots will be administered at the Health Department at 1235 Ramsey St., the county said in a release.

Pfizer vaccines also are expected to be available as shipments arrive, the release said.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized lower doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children in the 6 months to 5 years old age group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children in this age group get vaccinated to protect against serious illness and help keep them healthy, the release said.

“We are excited to offer vaccines to the 6-month to 5-year-old population who make up nearly 7.5% of Cumberland County’s population,” said Dr. Jennifer Green, the county’s health director. 

Children ages 6 months to 5 years old are eligible to receive two doses of the Moderna vaccines, administered 28 days apart. Each dose is one-fourth the amount of the dose given to adults. The Moderna vaccine was found to be 40-50% effective in preventing milder symptoms, the release said.

Children 6 months through 4 years old are eligible to receive a total of three doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The first and second doses are administered three weeks apart followed by a third dose at least two months later. Each dose of the Pfizer vaccine is one-tenth of the amount given to adults. The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 80% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, the release said.

The free vaccine is available to everyone in the age group, regardless of health insurance or immigration status, the release said. Walk-ins will be accepted at the clinics.

Scaled back testing sites

Starting Thursday, the Health Department will gradually scale down the three drive-thru testing locations operated by Optum Serve, the release said. The decision was based on the availability of free at-home tests, numerous community testing locations and effective vaccine and treatment options available to residents, the release said.

Tuesday will be the last day for COVID-19 testing at Manna Church. Wednesday will be the last day for testing at Abney Chapel. Friday will be the last day of drive-thru testing at county sites with the exception of the Health Department, the release said.

The COVID-19 test site at the Health Department will remain open for drive-thru testing on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the release said. Free rapid antigen testing and PCR testing are available. No appointment is required.

The COVID-19 test site at Fayetteville State University is not affected by this change, the release said.

There are several ways to receive free, at-home COVID-19 tests. They include:

  • Federal Program: Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of free at-home tests. This latest update is offering up to eight rapid antigen tests per household. Tests can be ordered at covid.gov/tests. There is no cost for the tests and no shipping fees.
  • State Program: The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and LabCorp also have a program to request free at-home testing kits. These PCR tests must be mailed back to a lab in a postage-paid envelope.
  • Cumberland County: Individuals can pick up a free antigen at-home test kit from the Health Department, 1235 Ramsey St., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with no appointment required. Five free test kits per household are available while supplies last.


Cumberland County, Health Department, COVID-19, vaccine, test sites, Moderna, Pfizer