The time has finally come to vaccinate your children five years of age or younger against COVID-19. The CDC recently provided EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for the COVID-19 vaccine for children five years of age or younger by Pfizer and Moderna.
Below you will find my thoughts on some of the most popular questions regarding vaccinating children under 5 against COVID-19.
Which vaccines are available for children five and younger?
Moderna has been approved for children who are 6 months to five years of age. Meanwhile, Pfizer-BioNTech has been approved for children who are 6 months to four years of age. Pfizer was previously approved for children who are five years of age.
Which vaccine is better?
Moderna offers a two-dose COVID-19 immunization series, each dose being 25 micrograms. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is a three-dose series, each dose being 3 micrograms. Both vaccines have been highly studied prior to authorization of use. Overall, both vaccines showed minimal side effects, similar to those seen in other childhood vaccines, and were well tolerated. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend one vaccine over the other as both are safe and effective. I recommend choosing whichever vaccine is made available to you and talking to your pediatrician about any concerns you have.
I’ve chosen which vaccine I want my child to receive but my pediatrician doesn’t offer it. Where can I get the vaccine?
Vaccines.gov offers a link to find vaccination centers near you. All you need to do is enter your zip code, search by distance, and a list of available centers will appear.
Is it necessary to get my child vaccinated against COVID-19?
In short, yes. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine leads to an immune response that ultimately protects individuals against severe COVID-19 infection. By choosing to get your child vaccinated, you are lowering the chances of severe illness and/or hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection.
As a note, even if your child has been infected in the past, you should still get your child fully vaccinated, including any boosters that are approved or may be approved in the future.
My child recently had COVID. How long should I wait to get him/her vaccinated?
You technically only need to wait for the isolation period to be over prior to getting your child vaccinated. Based on how long antibodies can remain in our body after infection, I typically recommend waiting 60 to 90 days. I recommend speaking with your child’s pediatrician on when to get your child vaccinated if they have been infected previously.