BALTIMORE (WJZ) — COVID-19 vaccines for young children are on the way to Maryland days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided Saturday that the shots should be made available to children as young as six months old.

The Maryland Department of Health said the vaccines should start to arrive Monday and will be available throughout the state starting tomorrow.

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“We welcome having COVID-19 vaccines to help protect our youngest Marylanders against severe illness, hospitalization, or even death from this virus and strongly encourage parents to vaccinate their children,” said MDH Secretary Dennis Schrader.

The secretary said the state has been preparing to receive the vaccines and is utilizing its network of health providers to “begin distributing them equitably across the state right away.”

The health department said it has also issued a bulletin directing vaccine providers to immediately make the vaccines available to those 6 months and older.

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The CDC’s vaccine advisory panel recommended two vaccines for children ages six months to five years old over the weekend – the Pfizer-biotech and Moderna vaccines. Both vaccine doses are smaller than the shots for adults.

The recommendation expands eligibility to nearly 20 million additional children.

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CBS Baltimore Staff