GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages six months to 5 years old are rolling out this week. They are the same vaccines given to adults, but children receive smaller doses.

Doctors said this rollout offers a much-needed layer of protection for children.

“Our goals are to make sure the vaccines are readily available and the parents have access to vaccine and information,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, North Carolina’s chief medical officer. “That is what we are achieving, not a numerical goal.”

The vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna will be administered to children.

“Even if kids are not all ending up in the hospital, and they’re not getting very sick, they still end up with these long COVID issues. And that’s where the real seriousness comes in,” said Dr. Arin Piramzadian, StarMed’s chief medical officer.

The Pfizer vaccine series includes three doses. The second shot comes three weeks after the first, followed by a third shot at least two months later.

The Moderna series includes two doses. The second shot would be about four weeks after the first.

North Carolina has already pre-ordered more than 100,000 shots for children. While some parents may be on the fence on the vaccine, Piramzadian said the vaccines are safe.

“It’s our data that’s actually being used to show that it was safe,” Piramzadian said. “So we know that everything that we’ve done, the kids that we’ve had and parents who put them in these trials, knew that at that time we didn’t have any information, that they were putting their kids in the study to show the world that it is safe. And that’s what it did show.”

Doctors said kids could have the same reaction adults have after receiving the vaccine. Some of the reported side effects include generalized fatigue, soreness, fever and chills.

Starting Wednesday StarMed in Jacksonville will begin offering vaccines for children 5 and under.