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Last week the FDA authorized, and the CDC recommended the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 6 months through 5 years. Children in these age groups are not able to mix-and-match which vaccine they receive. That means that children ages 6 months through 5 years who previously completed a Moderna primary series can now receive a Moderna bivalent booster 2 months after their final primary series dose. Children ages 6 months through 4 years who are completing a Pfizer primary series will receive a Pfizer bivalent vaccine as their third primary dose. With the authorization of the updated Pfizer vaccine, effective immediately, Pfizer monovalent vaccine for children in this age group are no longer available.
Children ages 6 months and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is available for free even without insurance and regardless of immigration status. Vaccines can help keep children from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19. Vaccinating children can also help protect family members. This includes siblings who can’t be vaccinated yet and family members who may be more likely to get very sick. Data on the COVID-19 vaccine in children has shown it works well and there are no safety concerns.
The COVID-19 vaccine has been thoroughly tested in clinical trials with children 6 months and older. More than 9,000 children ages 6 months to 11 years participated in initial trials, which included volunteers from different races and ethnicities. There were no safety concerns or serious side effects noted in the ongoing clinical trials.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 after their first shot, wait until their isolation period ends before getting the second shot (at least three weeks after the first dose). Kids over 12 years who do not have a weakened immune system can wait up to eight weeks for the second shot.
Ask your child’s doctor if there are other vaccines your child might need to help keep them healthy.
If you would like to make an appointment for a COVID Vaccine, or if you have questions please call us at 336-651-7450.