CHICAGO (SCS) — COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months old will be available next week.
for babies, toddlers and young children on Fridays.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to sign off, but that clearance should arrive in the coming days.
For the Moderna vaccine, children should receive two injections one month apart. For Pfizer, it would be three injections spaced 11 weeks apart.
The doses of vaccines from both manufacturers are only a fraction of what adults receive.
Children tend to be mildly affected by COVID-19, but doctors encourage vaccinations even at 6 months of age to reduce the chances of reinfection.
Experts also want the smallest of toddlers to avoid getting sick at all to forgo the possibility of long-haul COVID.
“If the vaccine can help her stay in school and she won’t miss so many days, if he keeps the kids in class, then I’m all for it,” her mother Rachel said. Marcus about his 3-year-old daughter, Olympica.
Even so, Marcus had mixed feelings about immediately vaccinating Olympia, due to a reaction she’s had to other shots.
“I have to prepare myself financially to stay home with her because of the reactions,” she said. “Hives, high temperature and general malaise. I just want to make sure it’s safe for her, but I’m fully vaccinated, and so I chose it for myself, and I really want it. for my daughter.”
A Kaiser poll conducted earlier this spring found that less than one in five parents would immediately vaccinate their children under age 5.
Jamal Cooks is fully vaccinated himself, but doesn’t know what to do for the light of his world, 3-year-old Chloe.
“I’m not 100% no, no,” he said. “I don’t know, maybe we should wait a minute and then see.”
Mother of five children, Catherine Lopez does not question science. Her older children are vaccinated, but she thinks her 4-year-old can skip a dose for now because the whole family has caught COVID twice.
We asked University of Chicago pediatric epidemiologist Dr. Allison Bartlett about a similar scenario.
“I think there’s a lot of hesitation there,” Bartlett said.
She wants to remind skeptical parents how well vaccines have worked for older children and adults.
“Billions of these vaccines have been administered in terms of safety data,” she said.
Bartlett had some advice for moms and dads who were worried their kids would get a fever if they got the shot.
“I think fever is always a risk with most vaccinations. It’s your immune system that responds to the vaccine,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett said that, like other age groups, the main side effect she predicts for young vaccinated children is arm pain.