DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Children ages six months and older are now able to get a COVID-19 vaccine with millions of doses being shipped across the country.

“Children in this age group aren’t the best at keeping on a mask, wearing a mask, they harbor a lot of viruses, they have grandparents, so it just adds another layer in our fight in this pandemic,” Dr. Marc Belcastro, chief medical officer at Premier Health, said.

Both Pfizer and Moderna were approved for the age group. Moderna will be administered in two doses and Pfizer in three doses.

“The efficacies were really similar in their ability to prevent severe disease and hospitalizations, as well as the side effects had very similar profile,” Dr. Belcastro said.

According to the CDC, more than 440 children ages 0 to 4 years old died from COVID-19 since January 2020. In Ohio, nine children in that age group died and more than 1,500 were hospitalized.

Dr. Adam Mezoff, chief medical officer of Dayton Children’s Hospital, said these shots will be a game changer in keeping kids safe.

“There is a lower risk of younger children getting ill seriously with COVID-19. Having said that, they do. Having said that, there are children in this region who have died from COVID-19. And nationally there are probably close to 500 children who have and while that isn’t a huge number when you take into account all the children in the nation, if it’s preventable, one is too big a number,” Dr. Mezoff said.

To schedule a vaccine appointment at Dayton Children’s, click here.