Here's What Parents Need to Know About the Moderna Vaccine for Children 6 and Under
On Thursday, Moderna submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration.
Moderna submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration Thursday to authorize its COVID vaccine for children from 6 months old to 6 years old. If the FDA approves, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have to share recommendations on which children will need the vaccine.
Parents may be wondering if they should get their children vaccinated. Vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illness in people of all ages, including children.
Based on available data, our health care providers and pediatricians at Cook Children’s strongly recommend that parents get children vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.
“It is important to keep our children safe now and in the future," said Mary Suzanne Whitworth, M.D., medical director of Infectious Diseases at Cook Children’s. "This is one way to safely protect your children AND protect people who they might expose from catching SARS-CoV-2."
We asked Dr. Whitworth to answer some of the big questions and shed a little light on the subject.
Why should my child get the COVID vaccine?
Children are at risk to get sick from COVID-19 disease, requiring hospitalization, and in rare cases, dying from the infection. More commonly they will get a mild infection and recover quickly. But while they are contagious they can spread this to others such as vulnerable grandparents.
How do we know it’s safe for children 5 and under?
The children who participated in the vaccine research had no serious adverse events and we know that the FDA is extremely cautious and will review the data quite carefully before approving this.
Should parents get their children vaccinated, even if their child recently had COVID?
Yes. Those who have been infected with this virus can get infected again. This second infection may be the same, milder, or more severe – and they are able to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to those who are more vulnerable.
What about if I live in an area with a low number of cases?
SARS-CoV-2 will not be eradicated. We will have this infection with us for years to come, just like influenza. Low numbers now are something to enjoy, but we will all be exposed at some point in the future.
What should parents do if they have more questions?
Talk to your pediatrician. They have your child’s medical history and are the best source of information for this topic. They have the latest information available and want to help you make an informed decision.
If your child is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your local pediatrician's office to schedule an appointment.