Blue Fish families:
Blue Fish Pediatrics will be hosting a one-day vaccine clinic for the COVID-19 Pfizer immunization for children 6 months through <5 years old this Saturday, June 25 at ONLY the Memorial location.
Any Blue Fish patient of any of our 8 offices is welcome to register online for an appointment at our one-day vaccine clinic on June 25 here:
The vaccine will also be available at all well visits, sick visits, and shot-only visits starting in late June 2022. Please call your office to confirm they have the vaccine in stock. These appointments can be made by calling your home office.
For the 2nd and 3rd dose, depending on demand, we may possibly host future vaccine clinics, but you can also get subsequent doses at your home office as stated above. We will announce future vaccine clinics through our email newsletter. You can sign up for our email newsletter by scrolling towards the bottom of our home page.
How do the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for younger children differ?
||6 mo. through <5 yrs
||3 weeks between 1st and 2nd
8 weeks between 2nd and 3rd
||6 mo. through <6 yrs
||4 weeks between 1st and 2nd
The Pfizer vaccine will cover children aged 6 months through <5 years old, and the Moderna vaccine will cover children aged 6 months through <6 years old.
Pfizer is authorized as a three-dose series, with the first two shots spaced three weeks apart, and the third shot given at least eight weeks later. (Pfizer’s third shot is not considered a booster. It’s likely that Moderna and Pfizer will eventually authorize an additional booster dose for young children.)
The Moderna vaccine is authorized as two doses spaced four weeks apart.
Both vaccines are at lower doses than the vaccines given to older kids and adults.
Preliminary data released by Moderna in April suggested that two shots were 51 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 infection among children aged 6 months through 1 year, and that two shots were 37 percent effective at preventing infection among kids aged 2 through 5 years.
Pfizer claimed that its three-dose series had an efficacy of 80 percent at preventing Covid-19 infection among kids aged 6 months through 4 years old, but that estimate was based on infections in just three children.
Why is Blue Fish Pediatrics only offering the Pfizer vaccine?
Blue Fish chose to only offer a single brand to reduce confusion. Both vaccines appear to be safe and protective, so parents can safely opt for either vaccine.
Blue Fish chose to go with Pfizer for the following reasons:
- Pfizer appears to have a higher level of protection albeit with an additional 3rd dose.
- Pfizer has fewer side effects, likely stemming from the lower dose.
- Pfizer has already been used in pediatric patients 5 years and older, so parents are more familiar with the brand and the safety track record in the pediatric population. As of 6/15/2022, over 21 million children have been completely vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
If parents prefer the Moderna brand, it will have to be outside of Blue Fish Pediatrics.
How should I space my 2nd and 3rd dose?
The current recommended spacing:
Dose 1 –> 3-week interval –> Dose 2 –> 8-week interval –> Dose 3
Parents may want to consider:
Dose 1 –> 8-week interval –> Dose 2 –> 8-week interval –> Dose 3
Either regimen is acceptable, and the CDC has stated that the vaccine remains safe and effective when given at the 3-week interval between doses 1 and 2. The longer interval in adolescent data correlated with a reduction in the very low risk of myocarditis and increased the peak antibody response, affording better protection.
It should be noted that the absolute risk of myocarditis from the COVID vaccine is very small, especially in young children, and no cases were seen in the vaccine trials. The risk is higher for males 12-39 years.
Parents should feel comfortable with either regimen but may lean towards the faster schedule if a life event such as daycare or camp is imminent and may lean towards the slower schedule if the adolescent data is compelling to them.
What are the side effects of the vaccines in young kids?
The data so far suggest that the side effects in younger kids are milder than those in older kids, probably because a lower dose of the vaccine is given.
Among children under 5, the side effects were the sorts of things that we might expect in children after receiving a vaccine: increased fussiness, sleepiness, and pain at the injection site.
Comparing the two vaccines, Pfizer’s resulted in fewer side effects overall, probably because it uses such a low dose.
No children in the vaccine trials developed heart issues like myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation that was seen in a small number of children who received the vaccine, but this could be because the trials were not big enough to detect such rare side effects.
It’s possible there will be some cases once the vaccines are given to enough kids, but experts don’t expect to see a significant number, because myocarditis occurs more frequently in teenagers and young adults than younger kids.
Importantly, the risk of myocarditis is much higher among kids who catch Covid-19 than it is among those who get the vaccine.
It’s important to note that the F.D.A. did not authorize the two-dose Pfizer vaccine back in February because it didn’t work well enough, not because of any safety issues. The third dose was added to increase its effectiveness.
Should your child get vaccinated right away if they’ve recently had Covid-19?
According to the C.D.C., kids who recently had Covid can get the vaccine as soon as they are out of isolation and are feeling better.
However, reinfection appears to be rare for several months. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to wait up to 90 days after infection before getting vaccinated.
Still, you may want to give the vaccine sooner if cases are climbing in your community, if you’re traveling to areas with high Covid rates, or if your child is immunocompromised or has underlying risk factors.
Can my child get the Covid-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day?
Yes. According to the C.D.C., children can get Covid-19 vaccines and other inoculations, including flu vaccines, at the same time.
Covid-19 symptoms are often mild in young kids, and they can get the virus even if they’re vaccinated, so what’s the point of vaccinating my young child?
It’s true that Covid-19 is far less risky for kids than it is for those who are older. However, more than 440 children aged 4 and under have died from Covid-19 since January 2020, and the infection is one of the top 10 causes of death in children in the United States.
Also, Covid-related hospitalization rates are higher for children 4 and younger than they are for older children, and more than half of pediatric hospitalizations among kids ages six months through 4 years occur in children with no known underlying risk factors.
Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent severe forms of Covid.
Credit to Melinda Wenner Moyer’s NYT article, What to Know About the COVID Vaccine for Little Kids 6.17.22.
Blue Fish Pediatrics