The COVID-19 vaccine remains the best chance we have at putting an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID vaccines are currently available to children ages five and up; however, booster vaccines at this moment are only authorized for children ages twelve and up. With this in mind, it is essential to note that clinical trials are currently underway for children six months of age to under five years old.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), these vaccines are remarkably safe, and parents should seriously consider vaccinating themselves and their children if they haven’t done so already. Being vaccinated and boosted is especially important right now as variants such as Omicron and Delta are causing spikes in cases throughout the country.
Currently, the only COVID-19 vaccine for children in the United States is the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA. Children ages five to eleven are given a lower dose than children ages twelve and up. The COVID vaccine is free of charge, regardless of whether you have health insurance or not; therefore, anyone eligible to receive it is encouraged to do so.
Federal health officials have approved a booster for children and teens at least twelve years old. Those who received an mRNA vaccine five months or more ago can receive a booster dose and are highly encouraged to do so.
Children who range from the ages of five to eleven and have certain medical conditions OR take medications that may compromise their immune systems are recommended to receive the third dose as part of a primary series.
If your child is currently COVID-19 positive, they should wait until they have completed their isolation period, received a negative COVID-19 test, and fully recovered before getting the vaccine. Remember to always remain in communication with your child’s pediatrician, seriously considering their medical expert advice. Each child has different medical needs, and thus, all decisions should be made with their health as the top priority.
Before children under the age of five can receive a COVID vaccine, the clinical trials underway must be completed. Clinical trials are especially crucial because they ensure that children in these age groups will see practical and safe results from the vaccines. As with anything, there are vast differences between children and adults, and we cannot just assume that a child can handle a vaccine without the proper trials completed first. These safety precautions don’t just go for COVID vaccines, but rather all vaccines in general.
When it comes to school entry requirements and the COVID vaccine, it is up to each individual state and their government to make that decision. With that being said, you should assure that your child is up to date with required vaccinations such as; measles, whooping cough, influenza, and others that your child’s pediatrician recommends.
There may be many unanswered questions, but we know that the COVID-19 vaccines aid in preventing severe illnesses or even the deaths of hundreds and millions of children and adults who have received them. We look forward to one day being able to come together in our communities safely, and being vaccinated is a gateway to that.
At the office of Dr. Alfonso J. Henriquez, one thing is sure: the health of your child is of the utmost importance. If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, the COVID booster vaccines, or want more information, please feel free to contact our office at 561-275-7100.