COVID-19 Vaccine for children under 5 years old

On June 18, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccination for young children who are between 6 months and 5 years of age.

  • Children's Healthcare received their shipment last Wednesday, June 22nd and will start giving the vaccine upon parental request during well child visits and during our Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Vaccine Clinics starting Tuesday June 28th, 2022.
  • All visits to Children's Healthcare Vaccine Clinic are between 9am and 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thrusdays and are by APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Why should my baby or young child receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been over 2 million cases, 20,000 hospitalizations and 200 deaths due to COVID-19 in children under 5 years of age.
  • Scientific evidence has shown that the children who received COVID-19 vaccines developed high levels of virus-fighting antibodies >span class="qowt-font7-Arial"> against coronavirus.

What makes this vaccine different from the others administered to kids 5 years and older?

  • The three-dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine can be given to children 6 months to just under 5 years of age at a 3-microgram dosage. This dose was carefully selected to ensure the vaccine was well tolerated in young children. 

How many doses of vaccine are needed, and on what schedule? 

  • Children's Healthcare is carrying the Pfizer vaccine, a three-dose vaccine series:
  • The second dose is given three to eight weeks after the first dose, and the third dose is given more than eight weeks after the second.
  • Children who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may need additional doses, as with immunocompromised teens and adults.

How long does it take for the shots to take full effect? 

  • A child can be considered fully immunized two weeks after the third dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine  Children who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are also considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the final dose of the primary series.

Where should young children get their vaccines?

  • Going to your child’s pediatric office is recommended for this age group.
  • We encourage you to use all available local and state resources to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a place and time that is convenient for your family.

For children who have already gotten COVID-19, is it still worth their getting the vaccine, even if they were already exposed to the most recent variant?

  • Yes, it is still worthwhile for these children to be vaccinated. While there is protection from natural immunity, it is hard to tell just how durable and protective it is. The immune response can also vary from individual to individual.
  • The primary vaccine series appears to offer additional and reliable protection against severe illness and death beyond the immune response that your child can get from the COVID infection.

How long after my child’s COVID-19 infection should I wait before getting them vaccinated?

  • The situation may vary depending on a child’s medical history and the severity of the COVID-19 infection, but waiting until all symptoms have resolved is best.
  • In addition, people who had a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection may consider delaying a primary series dose or their first or second COVID-19 vaccine booster dose by three months from symptom onset or positive test (if their infection was asymptomatic). 
  • Studies have shown that increased time between infection and vaccination may result in an improved immune response to vaccination.

What can parents do to reduce their child’s risk of getting COVID-19?

  • About 59% of 12- to 17-year-olds and around 29% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
  • A child is considered up to date if they have received all recommended doses for their age.

What side effects can parents expect from the vaccines?

  • The most common side effects parents can expect for their child are a sore arm, headache, fever and fatigue.
  • Children 6 to 23 months may be fussy or sleepy.
  • Symptoms usually occur one to two days after vaccination and are mostly mild and resolve after a few days.
  • Parents should contact our office if you have any specific concerns about side effects from a shot.

My child is under 5 years of age and is immunocompromised. Can they get the vaccine?

  • Yes, children who are immunocompromised should receive vaccines to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness or death. Additional doses are given to children who are moderately or severely immunocompromised because their immune response to vaccines may not be as strong as in healthy children.

Should you decide to book an appointment for the vaccine OR if you have questions about the vaccine, please feel free to call the Children's Healthcare office at (619)297-5437.

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Children's Healthcare Medical Associates

550 Washington Street

Suite 300

San Diego, CA 92103

(619) 297-5437

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