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July 13, 2022

In The News: Updates on COVID-19 Vaccines for Youngest Kids

A pair of recent articles from Mepage Today covered the latest on COVID-19 vaccines following FDA and CDC approval. First, CDC’s Advisers Endorse COVID Vaccines in Youngest Kids recounts the unanimous ACIP vote in June for both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in children six months and older. Meanwhile, Youngest Kids Can Get COVID Shots With Other Vaccines reports the vaccines can be worked into the regular vaccine schedule for the age group.

The CDC vote followed FDA’s emergency use authorization. The story shares members’ questions and concerns centered on crafting messaging that would convince parents to vaccinate their children and expand protections to infants and young children. Parental hesitancy remains due to a holdover belief that the virus doesn’t threaten young kids despite the fact that COVID-19 has become the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in the age groups.

To combat those mistaken views, CDC will develop outreach for physicians to pass along to parents that will encourage them to vaccinate their child and have confidence in the vaccinations. Pediatricians remain the most trusted information source for parents and pediatricians are ready and willing to be part of the rollout.

As noted in the second story, pediatricians, that same trusted source, have cleared COVID-19 vaccinations to be part of the regular schedule. It further adds there is no reason to see either dose of the vaccine to be overwhelming to the large number of simultaneous shots infants and young children receive. Individual practices, it is acknowledged, may elect to separate the shots as needed for their patients and practices.

PIDS members are quoted extensively in these stories. PIDS member Tina Tan remarked on adding COVID-19 shots to the vaccine schedule, “If you have a [young child] coming in to get [their regularly scheduled] boosters, you can give the COVID vaccine at the same time, and then bring them back for their next doses…[Y]ou can give it at the same time without interfering with the immunity of the other vaccines.” PIDS president Buddy Creech, in that story, added, “We would anticipate that there would be no cause for concern giving it with other vaccines.” Members also quoted were Jose Romero, Yvonne Maldonado, Sarah Long and Jason Newland.

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