Now that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for kids under age 5, a leading medical group urges parents to discuss it with their health care provider.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that parents ask their children’s doctor or other clinician any questions they may have and learn how they can get the shots. One-on-one conversations with doctors who know their kids are the best way to get factual information, the AAP said.
“Parents have been waiting a long time to vaccinate their youngest children so they can get the same protection against serious illness and hospitalization that the rest of us have been offered,” said AAP President Dr. Moira Szilagyi.
She noted that the wait and worry have been especially hard on families as they adjusted their activities to keep kids safe through the pandemic.
“COVID vaccination for this age group is one more tool parents now have in their toolbox to help their children thrive,” Szilagyi said in an AAP news release.
After the June 18 approval of two COVID vaccines for young children, the academy updated its vaccine recommendations.
AAP now recommends all kids aged 6 months and older who do not have contraindications get a COVID vaccine authorized for their age group. This includes primary series and boosters as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For children under 5, families may choose either the two-dose Moderna vaccine or the three-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Dr. Yvonne “Bonnie” Maldonado, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, noted that both are safe and offer good protection against severe illness.
“Millions of children and teens have been vaccinated, and we know a lot about how safe and effective the vaccines are in older age groups,” she said in the release. “The data are also very reassuring in this youngest age group.”
The academy is launching two new public service announcements in English and Spanish that encourage parents to talk with their child’s pediatrician about any health questions they have.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has vaccine information for kids and teens.
SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, June 21, 2022