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CHKD nurse and patient high fiving after COVID vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccines: Children 6 Months to 5 Years

By Dr. Douglas Mitchell, Norfolk Pediatrics

Although babies and toddlers tend to have milder symptoms during COVID-19 infections than older children and adults, some can and do become very sick.

That’s why CHKD Health System is joining the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Virginia Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recommending the newly approved Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years of age, or the Moderna vaccine for children 6 months through 5 years of age. Both were recently approved by the CDC.

If you have any concerns or questions about the vaccine, reach out to your pediatrician to ask what is best for your child.

The COVID-19 virus is still spreading in our community. Vaccinating young children is an important step toward returning to the normal social activities so important to the overall health and well-being of children. It helps make sure that your kids can keep attending childcare centers, camps, and other group activities that are important for their physical and mental health. It can also protect members of your family and community who have compromised immune systems.

Where to get the vaccine

How this vaccine differs from those for older children

This vaccine is in lower doses than the vaccines given to older kids and adults. The Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose series with the first two doses administered three weeks apart and a third dose at least two months after the second dose. The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series administered four weeks apart.

When your child receives the first vaccine, schedule the next dose. Make sure that your pediatrician’s office has a copy of the vaccination card in your child’s medical record.

Side effects

So far, side effects in younger kids have been milder than those in older kids, probably because of the lower dose of the vaccine. Side effects are similar to those of other vaccines: increased fussiness, sleepiness, and pain at the injection site.

Other vaccines

Don’t forget your child can also receive routine shots at the same appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. Ask if your child is caught up on all routine immunizations.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.