The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 12-0 to recommend Moderna AND Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to less than 5 years.
The Moderna vaccine is now available to children ages 6 months to less than 5 years as a primary series of two, 25-microgram (µg) doses administered four to eight weeks apart.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now available to children ages 6 months to less than 5 years as a primary series of three, 3-µg doses. Dose 1 and dose 2 should be administered three to eight weeks apart, while the third dose should be given at least eight weeks after the second dose.
Among children, a Covid vaccine induces a broader immune response when compared with the immune response from infection. In contrast with Covid infection, children vaccinated against Covid demonstrated a better immune response against alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron variants. The data shows the importance of vaccinating children who have already had a covid infection to prevent both severe disease and future infections.
Legacy Pediatrics has received the Covid vaccines and are currently scheduling vaccination appointments. Please call and ask to speak with a nurse, to make that appointment.
Legacy Pediatrics will follow the recommendation that the same mRNA vaccine product should be used for all primary series doses. We are frequently asked if a child should receive other vaccines along with the Covid vaccine. The CDC recommends routine administration of all age-appropriate vaccines at the same time as the Covid vaccine. If families would like to separate them, we will administer their scheduled well visit vaccinations, and have families return at a later date to start the COVID vaccine series.
These recommendations to vaccinate children less than 5 years of age are based on clinical trial data. Moderna’s clinical trial was conducted from December 2021 through February 2022 (during the omicron surge) and involved 6,400 children. Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine clinical trial included 3,000 children and was conducted from June 2021 through April 2022 (while both the delta, beta and omicron variants were circulating). Both vaccines induced a strong antibody response and were well tolerated with minor side effects.
Lastly, why COVID-19 vaccines should be given to children
Between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2022, 269 children younger than 1 year and 134 children ages 1-4 years died because of COVID-19.
More than 2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported among children ages 6 months to 5 years. Children in this age group are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and more than half of all hospitalized children with covid infection ages 6 months to 5 years were previously healthy with no underlying medical conditions.
As always, reach out to us if you’d like to discuss vaccination in more detail.