Who is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine booster?
There have been some changes to COVID vaccine & booster eligibility guidelines.
- Booster eligibility now begins 5 months after your primary series for Pfizer and Moderna.
- 12-15 year olds are now eligible for boosters with Pfizer, 5 months after they complete the primary series.
- Anyone who received J&J for the primary vaccine, is eligible for a booster of any vaccine 2 months after the primary shot.
I just had COVID, when can I get my vaccine?
You can get your primary COVID vaccine or your booster as soon as you have met the criteria to leave isolation: 5 days, fever free for 24 hours and symptoms improved.
My child tested positive for COVID, what do I do?
First of all, don’t panic! For the vast majority of children, COVID is a mild illness. Just monitor and manage symptoms as they come.
There have also been some changes to isolation recommendations.
If You Test Positive for COVID-19: Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
- Stay home for 5 days. If your child cannot wear a mask, then they should stay home for 10 days.
- If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
- Continue to wear a mask (ideally a good mask such as N95, KN95- since you are likely still contagious) around others for 5 additional days. Again, if your child cannot wear a mask, then 10 days of isolation.
If you have any symptoms, continue to stay home until your symptoms resolve.
My child was exposed to COVID, what do I do?
Again, don’t panic!
If they: have been boosted or completed the primary series of a vaccine and are not due for a booster yet:
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
- Test on day 5, if possible.
- If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
If they: are overdue for a booster or unvaccinated or too young to be eligible for a vaccine
- Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. If your child cannot wear a mask, then they should isolate for 10 days.
- Test on day 5 if possible.
- If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
Overarching guidelines– stay home if sick, wear a (high-quality) mask, and get tested if possible
Should I trust a Covid rapid test?
We have become increasingly aware that rapid tests have some limitations. The rapid tests may provide false negatives with Omicron, early in the course of illness, and in asymptomatic people. This is because rapid tests are less sensitive.
What do we mean by sensitive? Sensitivity statistically means the likelihood that the test will give you a positive result when you actually have the disease. If a test has a lot of false negatives, then the sensitivity is low. For example, what do we see if we test 10 patients in the office with a rapid test, some asymptomatic but exposed, some with 1 day of mild symptoms, some with 3 days of symptoms and then also do a PCR these patients and compare the results? Anecdotally, we will get a few negative results on the rapid test that then come back positive on the PCR (when we get the PCR back 2-4 days later).
What does this mean practically?
If you are symptomatic and your rapid test ends up being positive, you have COVID. If your test is negative, we don’t know if you have COVID or not based on the rapid alone, although most likely you have a non-COVID illness or virus. In these cases, parents can go back to things we know are effective – getting children vaccinated, stay home if sick, and wear a high-quality mask.
What type of mask is best?
The Omicron variant is more contagious than prior variants. Consider using a more effective mask while we have such a high community caseload. Consider an effective mask particularly when you are in crowded settings, if it is not possible to maintain distance, or if you are indoors for long periods of time.
In order of increasing protection: least protective are cloth masks, then surgical masks then KN95s, KF94s and N95s.
When can my child return to sports after a COVID infection?
After a COVID infection, there is a very small risk of myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle. Children who play organized sports are required to get a clearance from their physician to return to playing sports. Please make an appointment with us when your child has completed their required isolation time (5 days and symptoms improved including fever resolved for 72 hours). Younger children are at lower risk since their sports are less competitive, and they are allowed to simply self-regulate their activity. If your child had mild symptoms: minimal fever, no severe cough or shortness of breath and total COVID symptoms for less than a week, then the risk of myocarditis is very low, so don’t worry! If at any point, your child develops: chest pain, shortness of breath, new heart palpitations, or near-fainting/fainting, stop exercise and call us.
My family recently all had COVID, do we still need to be careful?
Most likely you have a few months of protection from COVID. That is unless a new variant comes around in the meantime. However, we urge caution; don’t forget about the other viral illnesses that are around in the winter. If you have an infant, an immunocompromised family member, or a child with asthma then consider that RSV, influenza, and other viruses are also circulating, so please don’t throw all caution to the wind!
I completed my 5 day isolation after COVID, can I go see my kids now? How do I know if I am still contagious?
The short answer is, you could be still contagious on Day 6. Some people use a rapid test as a proxy for contagiousness, but there is no solid evidence for this. We recommend wearing a high quality mask (KN95, KF94, N95) for days 5-10 of your isolation when around others.
I completed my 5-day isolation but I still feel really awful with ongoing symptoms. What should I do?
Please stay home. You are still sick and need to continue to isolate.
What are you seeing clinically in children who have COVID?
Common symptoms in young children with Omicron have been fever, a croupy (barky) cough, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. In older children, school-aged kids, we often hear about a headache, sore throat, body aches, and occasional vomiting. We are also seeing some influenza cases; these patients often have fever, vomiting, and body aches. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, just our general perspective in the office.
Please do not hesitate to call your doctor, PA, or nurse if you have any questions!
We are excited to announce our Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines have shipped!
We will be holding vaccination clinics for dose 1 and 2 on the following evenings from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.
The choices are:
Dose 1: Tuesday Nov 16 AND Dose 2: Tuesday Dec 7
Dose 1: Thursday Nov 18 AND Dose 2: Thursday Dec 9
Please call our office to schedule both dose 1 and dose 2 appointments. Also, please note to ensure all patients receive both doses, we cannot accommodate families who only want their child to receive one Covid-19 vaccine dose at our office.
Please print this Covid-19 vaccine administration form to complete and bring with you for each child. Forms will be available at our office for families who are unable to print the form out ahead of time.
Children must be observed for 15 minutes in our office after receiving the vaccine. We are happy to answer any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us!
We are thrilled the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 5-11 years. We are also aware that many families have been anticipating this and want to vaccinate their children as soon as possible.
We look forward to administering the Covid-19 vaccine to our patients ages 5 through 11 years in our office. Unfortunately, we do not have an expected ship date yet from the State of Connecticut. As soon as we are confirmed on when the vaccine will arrive at our office, we will post dates for vaccine clinics at Willows.
There are also other opportunities to get the vaccine locally, including local pharmacies and hospital sponsored clinics. You can locate other sites giving the Covid-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 though the CT Vaccine portal.
Our advice at this time is to get the vaccine at your first available opportunity wherever you and your child are comfortable.
Please do not hesitate to call your doctor, PA, or nurse if you have any questions!
Helpful Link: The CT Vaccine Portal
We are excited to be part of a collaborative Westport Covid-19 Vaccine clinic to be held Saturday November 13th at the Staples High School Field House in Westport. Willows Pediatrics, along with Bay Street Pediatrics, Village Pediatrics, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) and the town of Westport school district are co-sponsoring a Covid-19 vaccine clinic November 13th followed by another clinic Saturday December 4th for the second vaccine dose.
Date and Time:
Saturday November 13, 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm for Dose 1
Saturday December 4, 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm for Dose 2
Who may sign up:
Children ages 5 years through 11 years who are patients of any of the three pediatric practices in Westport AND children who are students in the Westport school system who are not patients at a Westport pediatric practice.
Staples High School Field House (Westport, CT)
How do I sign up?
Click this link to sign up. Be sure to sign up for both the November 13th and December 4th dates (click “Next” at the bottom of the signup site to advance to the December date).
- Appointments are limited, please sign up as soon as possible.
- The pre-vaccination patient authorization form is available on the signup site under “Related Files”.
- Please print this form for each child and bring it with you to each clinic.
You can also locate sites giving the Covid-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 though the CT Vaccine portal
Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions. We are proud to work as part of community wide team to keep our children healthy. Please note all children will need to remain on-site for 15 minutes of observation after they receive their vaccine.
For appointment sign up:
For the CT Vaccine Portal:
This year due to COVID-19 and Social Distance Rules ALL CLINICS WILL BE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE DURING REGULAR HOURS TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR ONE OF THE DATES BELOW
Please download and fill out the 2021 Injectable Flu Shot administration sheet (link below). If you are unable to do so, we will have blank copies when you arrive.
Please fill out a Flu Shot administration form for each child and BRING IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME FOR YOUR FLU VACCINE . (If someone other than a parent/guardian is bringing a child in for the flu vaccine, a written note giving permission to give the vaccine signed by a parent will also be required.)
- Drive Thru Clinics held 1 – 5 pm
- Tuesday 10/19
- Thursday 10/21
- Tuesday 10/26
- Friday 10/29
- Drive Thru Clinics held 9 am – noon
- Tuesday 11/2
PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
You must be a patient of Willows Pediatric Group who has previously been seen in our office, and show a valid insurance card or be prepared to pay at time of service.
Please check our website for any last minute updates on the “Bulletin Board” or under “News” at www.willowspediatrics.com
*Please note all dates above are subject to availability of supply
Many of our parents have received one of the three available Covid-19 vaccines, and families are looking forward to having their adolescent or young adult receive a Covid-19 vaccine too. As of now, the youngest age an individual can receive a Covid-19 vaccine is 16 years.
The Pfizer vaccine (two doses 3 weeks apart) is authorized for people age 16 years and older. The Moderna vaccine (two doses 4 weeks apart) is authorized for ages 18 years and older. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine (one dose only) is authorized for ages 18 years and older.
All individuals receiving a Covid-19 vaccine must receive the vaccine at a site specified by the State of Connecticut. Currently, individual medical practices, e.g. Willows Pediatrics, are not included in the State program to administer Covid-19 vaccines. Thus, we cannot give your adolescent or young adult a Covid-19 vaccine even if he or she is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
Information on how to schedule Covid-19 vaccinations is available on the State of Connecticut Covid-19 vaccine website. Beginning April 1st, individuals 16 years and older who live or work in the state are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the State of Connecticut.
Research has shown Covid-19 vaccines are remarkably safe and effective. Clinical trials are now underway using Covid-19 vaccine in children under 16 years of age. Below are answers to some common questions, please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns:
Q.My child already had a Covid-19 infection. Should he or she still get the Covid-19 vaccine?
A.Yes! Even though having had Covid-19 may provide some protection from getting sick again, we don’t know how long that protection will last. (Please note, if you were treated for Covid-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a Covid-19 vaccine.)
Q.Are there side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine?
A.The most common symptoms after getting vaccinated are a mild to moderate headache, muscle aches or fatigue, and sometimes a low fever. These usually don’t last more than a day to two.
Flu season is upon us, and now is the time to review how to best protect your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 6 months and older, including adolescents, receive a flu shot this season with the goal of providing optimal protection against all strains of influenza. Influenza can be a serious illness, and as many parents are aware, influenza resulted in a record number of pediatric deaths this past year. Read More
Bacterial meningitis (infection around the spinal cord and brain) or sepsis (infection in the blood stream) is an extremely serious illness. The bacterium Neisseria meningitis (meningococous) is a cause of meningitis or septic shock in adolescents and young adults.
Even with appropriate antibiotics and intensive care, between 10 and 15 percent of people who develop meningococcal disease die, and another 10 to 20 percent suffer complications, such as brain damage or limb loss. Read More
If you could protect your child against a cancer-causing virus with three doses of a safe and effective vaccine, why wouldn’t you? While most parents are committed to vaccinating their child against all vaccine preventable diseases, some parents are still reluctant to have their child receive the HPV vaccine. In response to these concerns, Willows Pediatrics wants to remind families about the benefits of the vaccine and why we recommend it.