We are thrilled to see that there is finally an option for children 6 months to 5 years to get vaccinated for COVID-19! On Saturday June 18, the CDC and FDA completed their review process and approved 2 vaccines for this age group.
How do the vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer differ?
The Moderna vaccine is two doses four weeks apart. The Pfizer vaccine is three doses, dose one and two are separated by three weeks and dose two to three need to be eight weeks apart. Both were found to be effective. The clinical trials showed that both vaccines produce adequate antibody responses in children in this age group. Moderna reported approximately 40% efficacy in this age group for preventing symptomatic COVID disease. Pfizer reported 80% efficacy after three doses. Please note that the efficacy for two doses of Pfizer was not good, it is important to get your child the third dose. Also, importantly, Moderna is currently testing an omicron-specific booster for the third dose in this age group, which would be great!
What side effects should I expect from these vaccines?
For both vaccines, the most common side effects for 6 month – 2 year olds were drowsiness and irritability. For 2 year – 4 year olds the most common side effects were pain at the injection site and fatigue. There were no serious side effects reported. There were no cases of myocarditis reported.
My child recently had COVID, when should he or she get the vaccine?
It is absolutely safe for your child to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they finish their isolation period. However, we rarely see repeat infections within a few months of infection so we do know that a recent COVID infection provides pretty good protection for a few months.
Where can we read more about this?
American Academy of Pediatrics: FAQs for Families
Your local epidemiologist: FDA meeting for <5 COVID vaccine: Q&A
Where can we get our child vaccinated?
Willows will have limited availability of COVID vaccine clinics for this age group. We cannot rapidly vaccinate all of our patients, we’d love to but we don’t have the staff or space to do that while continuing to do all the summer check ups and sick visits. We encourage you to get your child the vaccine wherever is first available. We will update our website, Instagram and Facebook with more information, when we have it. Here are some local sites offering it:
Griffin Hospital, 10 Progress Drive, Shelton, vaccines for children 6 months and above: Griffin Health COVID Vaccine
CVS is giving vaccines to children 18 months and over: CVS COVID Vaccine
Walgreens is giving vaccines to children 3 years and over: Walgreens COVID Vaccine
Yale will be offering COVID vaccine clinics in the near future: Check here