COVID-19 vaccines approved for children under five
All children, ages six months or more, are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children age five and under.
Research showed that both vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are safe and equally protect children from hospitalization and severe illness. The only difference between the two vaccines is that the Moderna vaccine requires only two doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires three doses and children who get it are not fully protected until after the third dose.
“Pediatricians across the Chicagoland Children’s Health Alliance (CCHA) are thrilled that safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines are now available to children under 5,” says Dr. Frank Belmonte, a chief medical officer for CCHA and Advocate Children’s Hospital. “As clinicians whose three organizations collectively care for more than 280,000 children annually, our teams at Advocate Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics at NorthShore University HealthSystem and University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital have seen firsthand how critically important vaccination is for protecting people of all ages during this pandemic.”
While children have often fared better than adults when it comes to COVID-19, many have also faced severe side effects from this virus, including long COVID and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Vaccination is a critical step toward reducing this risk.
“To families who may have additional questions or any hesitations about vaccinating — we encourage you to have conversations with your pediatrician as soon as possible,” adds Belmonte. “Like the adult versions, the pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations require multiple doses before providing full protection. That means it’s essential that as many children as possible get vaccinated before the start of the school year.”
To schedule an appointment at Advocate Aurora Health, either call your pediatrician or our hotline at 866-443-2584 (between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily).
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!