The FDA and CDC approved the COVID-19 vaccine for all children 6 months to 5 years of age. Now, all children 6 months and older are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. While this is a very exciting day, we also understand that there are many questions about the vaccine and whether your child should get it. In short, we at Potomac Pediatrics do recommend that all children 6 months and older receive all eligible COVID-19 vaccines for their respective age group. Regarding the youngest age group in particular, below are some FAQs for your reference.
Should I get my child vaccinated against COVID-19? – Yes, the CDC and FDA both unanimously vote that the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks in the 6 month to 4 year old age group. Both vaccines are now approved under EUA for all children > 6 months old
Which vaccine will Potomac Pediatrics administer? – We are receiving shipments of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. The supply in office may vary from day to day based on availability.
Which vaccine should I get? – The short answer is either one. Both of these vaccines provide very good protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death. There are subtle differences and pros and cons to both vaccines but there is no current data to suggest one is superior to the other. For this reason we are not endorsing one over the other. Our recommendation is that the best vaccine is the one that is available.
If I do have a preference, will I be able to pick which vaccine to get? – Yes, as long as supplies are available. You will be able to indicate your preference when scheduling your vaccine.
When is my child considered fully vaccinated? – The 2 doses of the Moderna vaccines are spaced by 28 days. Pfizer recommends 21 days between dose 1 and dose 2 and > 8 weeks between dose 2 and 3. Your child is considered fully vaccinated 2-weeks following the 2nd dose of the Moderna vaccine or 2-weeks following the 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
What changes if my child is “fully vaccinated?” – Once your child is fully vaccinated, he or she will no longer have to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure (as long as they can wear a mask per current CDC recommendations and are asymptomatic). We hope that this will allow for a further return to normalcy for our kids and our patients, with the added knowledge that we’re doing everything we can to keep our community and our kids healthy and safe.
My 6 month to 4 year old child has had COVID-19 in the last 3 months. When should they get their vaccine? – The current guideline is to receive the vaccine as long as not currently isolating for an active COVID-19 infection. However, they have added a line to say that you may wait until after the three month period of natural immunity following infection to get vaccinated. We do know that “hybrid immunity” (a combination of vaccine-induced and natural immunity) works very well in adults, and we do know that with rapidly mutating variants of COVID-19 it is probably best to promote our body’s immunity in as many ways as possible. Therefore, unless new data arises, we recommend obtaining the COVID-19 as soon as eligible.
What side effects can I expect after the vaccination? Side effects were similar and occur at similar rates between both vaccines. The most common side effects were fussiness, sleepiness, and pain or tenderness at the injection site. Fever occurred in less than 10% of children involved in the studies. Less common side effects included headache, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, and vomiting. There were no cases of Myocarditis in either study. Severe or significant side effects were very rare.
I was vaccinated while pregnant or while breastfeeding. Should my infant still receive the vaccine? – Yes, the current recommendation is that your child should still receive the vaccine.
We hope these are helpful. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss the vaccine further, please contact your provider.