Everyone has questions about the COVID vaccination — especially when it comes to kids 5 and under, the last group to be eligible for vaccines. Parents want to know what precautions to take, what to expect, and how to prepare our kiddos for getting their shots.
This is all such new territory, and we want to be prepared and have the least amount of surprises as possible.
The good news is, though they still aren’t eligible yet, it looks like ages 5 and under are going to be able to get their vaccines within the next few months. Pfizer and BioNTech are currently in phase 2/3 trials for kids ages 2-5, and for kids age 6 months to 2 years, aiming to have some valuable data by the end of this year.
“The Food and Drug Administration and CDC won’t approve the vaccine until there’s some data showing safety and efficacy,” pediatrician and immunologist Dr. Philip Landrigan told CNN. “There’s every reason to think that it will be safe, and it will be efficacious. … But the agencies need to be cautious, justifiably so, and so they’re not going to give the approval until they have the data.”
Scary Mommy talked with Dr. Christina Johns, pediatrician and Senior Medical Advisor at PM Pediatrics, the largest pediatric urgent care group in the US, who told us everything we need to know about our kids 5 and under who will be getting vaccinated.
Johns says to make sure your children are up to date on all their other vaccinations before you make their appointment, or bring them in to get their shots. “That includes their flu shot and primary care,” she says. The reason it’s so important that they are up to date, explains Johns, is that being vaccinated “helps support the overall health of the child so they can generate an effective and robust immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
You also need to consider the timing of the series so that you know your family won’t be traveling or have other commitments that might interfere with the dosing schedule, she says.
It’s important to start talking to your child about how their turn is coming to be a part of the solution to ending the pandemic. “Emphasize how important their role is, and how you will celebrate this important occasion so that kids look forward to their vaccine day,” says Johns.
As far as dosage goes, Dr. Johns reports, “The expected dose in this age group will be 3micrograms, in a 2 dose series, 21 days apart.”
Getting all age groups vaccinated is our best chance at getting life back to “normal.” Dr. Bill Hartman, principal investigator for UW Health’s KidCOVE Moderna pediatric vaccine trial, told Today.com “The best way out of this pandemic is by vaccinating people and our children are included in that. By vaccinating them, you’re protecting them from any of the bad things that can happen from COVID, but you’re also protecting your family and your community.”
If you have any other questions or concerns, make sure you reach out to your pediatrician.
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