(WSYR-TV) — Upstate’s Moderna vaccine clinic for children six months to five years old is returning to the Health Care Center on Monday, July 25, to give COVID-19 shots to our youngest population.

This group has had a difficult time finding a place to get the vaccine, and Upstate Hospital is stepping up to meet that demand.

When the COVID-19 vaccine first became available, mass vaccination clinics like the New York State Fairgrounds, were open to keep up with the high demand. 

“But for the younger kids those options have pretty much disappeared,” said Dr. Steven Blatt, Director of Upstate’s Pediatric and Adolescent Center. 

Some pediatrician offices aren’t even carrying the latest vaccine for kids ages six months to five years old. But now thanks to Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital for recognizing the need, a clinic was launched. 

“The response to the vaccine clinic, we knew would be overwhelming because people were calling the hospitals for weeks when we announced we were going to do it,” Dr. Blatt says. 

The clinic is already booked out until mid-August, offering the two-dose Moderna vaccine. Plus, with school right around the corner, Dr. Blatt says now is the time to act.  

“So I certainly understand people’s reluctance to rush in and get a vaccine, however people need to remember where we were a year ago, two years ago, where people were dying at a very fast rate,” Dr. Blatt continues. 

While kids tend to get less sick if infected, Dr. Blatt says there are at least ten times more COVID-19 cases in the community now compared to last year.

According to Dr. Blatt, the COVID-19 infection rate will increase in the fall as people go indoors. There is also a possibility of a new strain of the virus, which are odds you don’t want to take.

The vaccine clinic is held every Monday and Thursday at the Upstate Health Care Center.

Click here to book an appointment.