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What to know about the COVID vaccine for young kids

Posted at 7:02 AM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 10:02:18-04

Parents who've been waiting to vaccinate their youngest children against COVID-19 finally can. The CDC has given final approval for both Moderna and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines for babies older than six months, toddlers, and preschoolers through four years old.

For parents deciding which brand to choose, doctors say both are safe and effective.

Pfizer is a three-shot series and goes from being 28% effective after the first two, to 80% protection after the third according to the CDC.

Moderna is two shots and was found to be about 50% effective after both shots.

If your child is on the cusp and has their fifth birthday between shots, doctors advise you to not wait, your pediatrician will adjust and give them the dosage appropriate for their age.

Studies show younger kids might get drowsy afterward and like most vaccinations, they could get a fever, but not severe.

If your child has already had COVID, maybe during the Delta wave, ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti says you should still vaccinate them.

He says even natural immunity wanes and they can get sick again without it.

"Recurrent infections can and do happen in adolescents and can happen in children. I imagine kids who had the Delta variant of COVID if they don't get vaccinated, they will be at higher risk of whatever variant is circulating versus if they get vaccinated, they'll be protected," he said.

Dr. Shad says the thing to know if you're still hesitant, is the potential severity if your child gets COVID naturally and the long-term effects of having COVID do outweigh any potential side effects from the vaccine.