Many parents, caregivers and clinicians have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine for younger children. On June 17, the FDA authorized Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for children down to 6 months of age. On June 18, CDC 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 FDA has determined that both vaccines are effective against severe disease while demonstrating excellent safety profile.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have different schedules and are not interchangeable.
- Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is for young children 6 months through 4 years of age. It is a three-dose primary series with doses one and two given three weeks apart and the third dose given at least 8 weeks after the second. Each dose is 0.2 mL after dilution.
- Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is for young children 6 months through 5 years of age. It is a 2-dose primary series (0.25 mL per dose) administered 1 month apart. The vaccine is also authorized to provide a third primary series dose (0.25 mL) to young children 6 months through 5 years of age who are immunocompromised to be administered at least 1 month following the second dose.
Both vaccines will be distributed to the UTMB pediatric clinics, but each clinic will receive only one type of vaccine. Parents are encouraged to use whichever vaccine is available in the clinic.
All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated.
The director of CDC states that COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Parents and caregivers can play an active role in monitoring the safety of these vaccines by signing their children up for v-safe – personalized and confidential health check-ins via text messages and web surveys where they can easily share with CDC how a child feels after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If your child is eligible for either COVID-19 vaccine and has not yet received their primary series, getting them vaccinated can help protect them from the potentially severe consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death. Effective Monday, June 27, COVID -19 vaccines can be scheduled at UTMB online or via MyChart.