Expert Answers to Key Questions About COVID Vaccines for Kids

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June 28, 2022 – Some important questions stay aft the caller authorizations of 2 COVID-19 vaccines for infants, toddlers, and young children done 5 years of age. If you're a genitor oregon wellness attraction supplier perplexed by each the nuances, you're not alone.

To reply immoderate of those questions, infectious illness experts shared what they cognize during a media briefing contiguous sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The FDA authorized the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines connected the aforesaid day, June 17. But that doesn’t mean they're the same: They are dosed differently, connected antithetic schedules, and for somewhat antithetic property ranges.

"There volition beryllium opportunities for disorder there," said C. Buddy Creech, MD, president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

Along with Jason G. Newland, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine successful St. Louis, Creech addressed different concerns, including:

  • What did studies for the recently authorized COVID-19 vaccines successful children 6 months aged and older show, and wherefore did results instrumentality truthful long?
  • Are vaccines truly indispensable if it appeared the youngest children were mostly spared from the effects of COVID-19 aboriginal connected successful the pandemic?
  • Why did officials authorize 2 doses for the Moderna and 3 doses for the Pfizer vaccines?
  • Should parents hold if their kid volition determination to an older vaccine dose radical soon?
  • Why are immoderate pharmacies and different retail settings reluctant oregon unwilling to vaccinate these youngest children?

What Studies Showed

Regarding the information reviewed by the FDA, the CDC, and their autarkic advisory groups, "we cognize that 3 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, astatine a tenth of the [adult] dose, and 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine, astatine a 4th of the dose, effect successful immune responses that are connected par, if not sometimes amended than, what we spot successful young adults receiving the afloat dose of vaccine," said Creech, who is besides manager of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program successful Nashville.

"That's truly important due to the fact that it shows america that children respond precise good to the vaccine," helium said. “And successful fact, that's what we saw. We saw extortion against some the Delta and the Omicron variants during those waves erstwhile the objective trials were underway."

Many parents anxious to vaccinate their youngest children wondered wherefore exigency usage authorization took longer successful this property group.

"We wanted to marque definite that we could find the smallest dose indispensable to marque the champion immune effect possible," Creech said. Finding the optimal dose takes clip "because we're evaluating information and revaluating however good the immune effect handles that vaccine."

In presumption of safety, children ages 6 months up to 4 years successful the Pfizer probe and ages 6 months done 5 years successful the Moderna studies showed "they respond similar they bash to immoderate different puerility vaccine," Creech said.

Low-grade fever, for example, occurs successful astir 5% to 6% of children.

“Some children get fatigued," helium said. "They instrumentality an extra-long nap the adjacent time – which I've ne'er heard of a genitor kick astir astatine immoderate point." Soreness wherever they got the changeable and immoderate fussiness for a time oregon 2 person besides been reported.

"What's astir important is that we did not spot immoderate of the terrible adverse events that we were specifically looking for, whether that was antithetic bosom inflammation, blood clots, hospitalization, oregon thing related to that," helium said.

The grounds truthful acold indicates “it works and that it's safe, and that should springiness parents and pediatricians a batch of confidence,” Creech said.

But Aren't Kids Resilient?

"At the opening of the pandemic, we talked astir however [young children] were benignant of astir spared and we weren't seeing a batch of disease," said Newland, a prof of pediatrics and pediatric infectious illness astatine Washington University.

But, helium said, "what we person seen, particularly with Omicron, was a fig of infirmary admissions, and we had – specifically successful this property radical of those little than 5 – implicit 400 deaths."

Newland said parents wondering wherefore they should vaccinate their young children should see these 3 things:

  1. "Number one, it volition forestall death."
  2. The vaccines tin forestall terrible illness and hospitalization. "Many of you person learned astir this multi-system inflammatory syndrome successful children," Newland said. "You are present impacting immoderate imaginable semipermanent complications by being vaccinated."
  3. Vaccinating the youngest tin assistance support the full family. “We each unrecorded successful homes with loved ones oregon with aggregate generations, and by having different idiosyncratic vaccinated, we present are providing different furniture of extortion for those astatine the highest risk."

Two Doses oregon Three?

The archetypal and 2nd doses of a superior vaccine bid are scheduled astir 1 period isolated to make a bully immune effect up front, Creech said. The Moderna vaccine successful this property radical "will astir apt spell the mode of the big recommendations," helium said, with a booster recommended astir 5 oregon 6 months later.

"What Pfizer had to do, due to the fact that their numbers didn't look arsenic bully arsenic they wanted them to astatine that precise tiny dose of one-tenth [the young big dose]," was to see a 3rd dose Into the superior series, Creech said.

If clip is an contented and a kid needs to beryllium afloat protected quickly, "that mightiness springiness the motion to Moderna," helium said. "If clip is not truthful overmuch of an contented oregon Pfizer is the 1 that's available, Pfizer is simply a large vaccine that volition besides effect successful precise bully immune response."

Now oregon Later?

A newsman asked if parents should hold if they person a kid astir to property into an older vaccine dosage group.

"The champion vaccines to get is the 1 that's astir to spell into your shoulder, whether you're 4, astir 5, oregon 5, astir 6," Creech replied. "I don't deliberation present successful the mediate of the pandemic is the clip to wait."

He said that a kid astir to articulation older peers would apt get a booster successful the aboriginal with the adjacent due dose of vaccine.

"I deliberation we tin guarantee parents that getting vaccinated present alternatively than waiting until the adjacent property radical is simply a precise dependable mode to go," Creech said.

Some Pharmacies Take a Pass

Some quality headlines successful the past 10 days item that immoderate pharmacies and different retail settings bash not program to vaccinate precise young children against COVID.

"Some of it is simply a applicable contented that galore pharmacists astatine a commercialized pharmacy whitethorn not person a batch of acquisition vaccinating young children little than 5," Creech said. "This is antithetic than a elemental vaccine successful the deltoid [shoulder muscle] of idiosyncratic buying for groceries and past taking vantage of a vaccine session that's determination successful the store."

One of the reasons retail pharmacists person little acquisition is astir puerility vaccines are fixed successful a pediatrician’s oregon household doctor’s office. "So they person little familiarity," Creech said. Also, immoderate of the younger children are vaccinated successful the thigh, not the shoulder.

"I hold with Dr. Creech," Newland said. "There are radical conscionable aren't comfy vaccinating young children due to the fact that they don't vaccinate a batch of them and galore young children won't beryllium still."

Parents, Talk to Your Doctor

"I deliberation parents are starting to recognize that this is not the pandemic of 2020," Creech said. "One of the ways it's changed is caller variants person travel on that necessitate america to marque caller decisions."

He said that if radical person immoderate different questions, "I would promote parents to person a frank speech with your pediatrician oregon with your trusted aesculapian supplier to beryllium capable to deliberation done what the questions are, what the risks are, and what the benefits are – truthful you tin marque a truly bully determination for your family."

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