COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Under 5: What You Should Know

When it comes to fighting COVID-19, we know there are many sources of information. We are grateful you trust Cobb Pediatrics to give you the answers you need and the care your family deserves.

You can find the latest information about a vaccine for children under five here.pediatric covid-19 vaccine

Our Approach to COVID-19 Vaccine

When you come to Cobb Pediatrics, we want you to feel comfortable throughout the vaccine process. Here are a few things to get you started:

  • We are now offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to all of our patients ages 6 months and up.
  • We are accepting vaccine appointments by phone. You may also request an appointment by logging into our patient portal.
  • We may ask for your ID or health insurance card, although there are no out-of-pocket charges for the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Upon arrival at the office, we ask that you call our office to check in from your vehicle while our waiting room is still closed.
  • We also require you to wear a mask during the entirety of your visit.
  • If a previous vaccine dose has been received, please bring your child’s vaccine card.

COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Under 5 in Marietta, GA

While COVID-19 illness is generally less severe in children than in older adults, infants and children can get very ill and even die from COVID-19 infections. Some children may develop an extremely serious post-inflammatory condition after a COVID-19 infection known as MIS-C. In addition, a significant number of children may be at risk for chronic problems after infection – what’s known as Long COVID. Getting your children vaccinated is the best way to protect them, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect others.

On June 18, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination.

The COVID-19 vaccine dose for babies and children is not the same as administered to older teenagers and adults. The vaccine is sent to us specifically marked and indicated for children. Children are not just little adults. Special concern has been taken for their approved vaccines.

What to Expect

Before your appointment, please give us a call if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5. We can help inform you of the risks and the benefits of vaccination.

Before your child gets the COVID-19 vaccine, you will fill out CDC’s pre-vaccination screening form for your child. This is to make sure they are a good candidate for the vaccine.

If you answer yes to any question, you may need to talk to your child’s provider to determine if or when would be a better time for your child to receive the vaccine. For example, if your child is feeling moderately sick or severely ill, it is recommended to wait until they feel better before they receive the vaccine.

The questionnaire will help us determine if there is any reason your child should not get the COVID-19 vaccine today. If you answer “yes” to any question, it does not necessarily mean your child should not be vaccinated. It just means additional questions may be asked. If a question is not clear, please ask your healthcare provider to explain it.

It does not take long to administer the COVID-19 vaccine but we will ask you to remain in the office for 15 minutes so we can watch for any vaccine reactions. The vaccine can also be done at a well-visit or other routine check-up.

After the vaccine, you will be scheduled for an appointment for the next dose. Your child may return to normal activities immediately after leaving the office. Side effects after the vaccine are generally mild and short lived (and often don’t occur at all) but may include:

  • Fever
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fussiness
  • Sleepiness
  • Loss of appetite

Types of Covid-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for different age groups and are given in a muscle, generally the arm. Two vaccines have been authorized for the youngest children, made by Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine is a 3 dose primary series while the Moderna is a 2 dose primary series. No booster dose has been authorized for the 6 month to 4 year old age group at this time.

While both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in infants and young children, Cobb Pediatrics has chosen to stock just the Pfizer version as we also offer it for the rest of our patients as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

The COVID-19 vaccine works similarly to other vaccines. Germs such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, invade and multiply inside the body. The vaccine helps stop this by teaching the immune system to recognize and make antibodies that fight the virus.

Is the vaccine safe for children?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children who are 6 months and older get vaccinated to help protect against COVID-19. According to the CDC, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA gave the COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children as young as 6 months of age and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older.

Who recommends the vaccine for children?

On June 18, 2022 CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that all children 6 months and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.

What if my child has already had COVID-19? Should they still be vaccinated?

Your child should still receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been previously infected. With the unpredictability of emerging variants, previous infection may not confer much immunity with time. However, there is emerging evidence that vaccination after infection can provide extra protection.

Can my child still get COVID-19 if he or she is fully vaccinated?

After your child is fully vaccinated, there is less of a chance he/she will get COVID-19. If your child does get infected with the virus they will likely not be as sick. Your child is much less likely to be hospitalized if they contract COVID-19.

The vaccine is approved for emergencies. What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections when there is a public health crisis. The FDA requires you to have special information so you can make an informed decision about vaccination.

For more information about EUA, please visit the FDA website.

My child has been allergic to a vaccine in the past. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for my child?

According to the CDC, if your child has a history of allergy in past vaccines, you should talk to your provider to see if your child should move forward with the COVID-19 vaccine. In the screening form from the CDC on page four, there are ingredients listed and special considerations if your child might be at risk.

How does an mRNA vaccine help children?

The vaccine currently approved for those under 18 is considered an mRNA vaccine. According to healthychildren.org, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines contain messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA is made up of nucleic acids, which are the building blocks of all our cells. The mRNA carries instructions inside a lipid (fat) coating that tells cells to produce harmless pieces of “spike” protein. These look like spikes on the actual COVID virus.

When the cells make these pieces of spike protein, the immune system recognizes that they should not be there. Your child’s body then makes antibodies that get rid of the spike pieces. These antibodies remember how to protect your child from the virus in the future. A second dose three weeks after the first dose provides the instructions again, so the immune system can remember and practice how to get rid of the spike pieces. The Pfizer vaccine requires a third dose 8 weeks after the second to complete the immunization process.

Do mRNA vaccines change your child’s DNA?

No, the COVID-19 vaccines made with messenger RNA do not interact with your child’s DNA at all. DNA is your genetic material and it is stored in the nucleus of a cell. The mRNA in the vaccines never gets into the nucleus. And once your immune cells have used the instructions, they break down the mRNA and it exits the body.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain live parts of the Virus?

No, mRNA vaccines do not contain any live or dead parts of the virus.

How were the vaccines developed? Were they rushed?

Vaccines were first tested in cells to determine if they are safe for people. The research is shared with the FDA, and then if approved, the researchers start clinical trials. There are several stages of clinical trials, building from hundreds to thousands of people. They undergo rigorous testing processes and close communication with participants throughout clinical trials. There are specific clinical trials for children underway.

More information about research protocols can be found on the CDC website.

Schedule Your Vaccine Appointment

We thank you for trusting us to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to your child. We know you have many options, and we are grateful you trust us with your child’s healthcare. We would love to help answer your questions and help protect you against COVID-19. Please call Cobb Pediatrics at (770) 425-5331 to schedule your appointment today!

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