To Our Patients and Parents:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval, by emergency use authorization (EUA), on the COVID vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna in children 6 months to 5 years of age on June 17th. Some parents had eagerly waited for this news, while other parent were still hesitant when we talked about this during office visits. We are interested in hearing your questions and concerns, which you can send us by email, and we will do our best to respond.
One of the questions that have come up so far was whether the vaccine is recommended in patients who had the infection already. The short answer is Yes. A follow-up question is when should it be given after the infection. The CDC has not provided a specific recommendation for this age group. Our understanding of the immunity to COVID, whether it is from natural infection or by vaccination, is that it wanes over time. So, the immune system needs to have a booster every 3-12 months to maintain a protective level of antibodies. This is the reason the FDA and CDC recommended a 3rd dose booster for most patients 5-6 months after initial vaccinations and 4th dose booster for people at higher risk of serious infections.
In summary, we recommend the COVID vaccine for children because:
- It has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the risk of serious illness from COVID.
- It has been demonstrated to be safe, with no serious side effects.
Our office has decided to offer COVID vaccination in children 6 months to 5 years of age. We have ordered 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is recommended to be given by intramuscular injection in 2 doses 4-6 weeks apart. We chose Moderna vaccine over Pfizer vaccine for our patients because: a. the Pfizer vaccine is recommended to be given in a series of 3 doses (one more than the Moderna vaccine); b. Pfizer vaccine has a short shelf life of 10 weeks. We will order more doses if the demand is there.
To reduce vaccine wastage, our plan is to have patients come in by appointment only. Based on our staffing availability, we have decided on 7/12/2022 as the first date for the vaccine, and the second dose will be scheduled 6 weeks later on 8/23/2022. We will add additional dates for vaccination depending on the demand and on our staffing availability.
Please contact our office either by phone or by email through MyChart to schedule for an appointment for the COVID vaccine. If your child has a fever, please call and reschedule the appointment.
For those who are interested in more detailed information, here are the web links: