Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids
We Know Kids
The Willows Pediatrics Blog

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COVID-19 Vaccine for Under 5 Year Olds

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.

Child getting a vaccine

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

Yale: What parents need to know

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



Formula Shortage

The nationwide baby formula shortage is not getting any better. Willows Pediatrics hosted a visit from Congressman Jim Himes and News Channel 12 today to discuss this important issue. If you’d like to see News 12 coverage of this event, please click here.

News 12 coverage of baby formula shortage

News 12 coverage of baby formula shortage

A few important points based on questions we often get asked:

Can I switch formula brands?

Yes, if you have a healthy baby on a regular infant formula, then you can use any name or store brand infant formula. All infant formulas sold in the US are FDA approved to have the proper nutrition for normal growth and development. Here is a helpful list of equivalent formulas from North American Society For Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition. This will give you more options when you go to the store.

The exceptions to this are:

– If your baby has a milk protein allergy, then you need to continue to use a hydrolyzed or extensively hydrolyzed formula. Please talk to your pediatrician if you aren’t sure which formula to use.

-If your baby is premature or has complex medical needs, please talk to your pediatrician before changing formulas.

Can I dilute formula?

Absolutely, not! This is not safe. Babies are fragile. They require a delicate balance of water, electrolytes, fat and protein. If you alter this, they can develop seizures.

Can I make my own baby formula?

Please do NOT do this. Baby kidneys are only capable of handling certain concentrations of fluid and electrolytes, making your own formula can harm your baby. Additionally, doing this carries serious risk of contamination, which could cause your baby to get sick.

If you are looking to read more on this, please reference this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about your baby!

Congressman Himes discussing formula shortage

Congressman Himes discusses baby formula shortage at Willows Pediatrics


CT Magazine Top Doctors

We are excited to announce that ALL 6 of our pediatricians have been named to Connecticut Magazine’s annual “Top Doctors List” for 2022!

This is an annual list compiled based on nominations from peer physicians and vetted to meet the criteria to earn Top Doc. The list is created with the national healthcare research firm Castle Connolly. If you’d like to see the entire list, click here.

We take pride in the care we provide and appreciate being recognized.

Pacifier Recall

This week a recall on pacifiers was announced:

From CNN:

More than 333,000 silicone pacifiers available for purchase on Amazon have been voluntarily recalled by the distributor due to reports that the nipple can detach and cause a chocking hazard for infants.

The recalled pacifiers, made by Frigg in Denmark, come in two types: The “Classic” version has a silicone nipple attached to a round plastic shield; in a version called “Daisy,” the nipple is attached to a round, scalloped plastic shield. Each design comes in 40 colors and two sizes, 0 to 6 months and 6 to 18 months. Each pacifier has the name “Frigg” in raised letters on the handle of the pacifier shield.

A few thoughts:

– We prefer pacifiers that are one solid piece for this exact reason.

– If your child’s pacifier shows signs of wear or damage, please replace it immediately.


photo from CNN

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding 101When: September 21, 2016

Where: Willows Pediatrics Office

What Time: 6:30pm – 8:00 pm

Willows Pediatrics is proud to announce a class for parents and parents-to-be who want to learn more about breastfeeding.  The class, taught by Dana Czuczka, a certified Lactation counselor, will be held in our office on Wednesday, September 21st. Download the below PDF for more information on how to register.

Breastfeeding 101 Willows