COVID vaccine now available for infants over six months of age

State health department strongly recommends vaccination

Staff Report
Posted 6/26/22

On June 21, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) updated its standing orders for the state to allow medical professionals to begin vaccinating the youngest members of the state’s population.

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COVID vaccine now available for infants over six months of age

State health department strongly recommends vaccination

Posted

On June 21, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) updated its standing orders for the state to allow medical professionals to begin vaccinating the youngest members of the state’s population.

According to CDPHE, this means COVID-19 vaccines are now available and strongly recommended for all Coloradans ages 6 months and older.

“COVID-19 vaccines being available for the youngest among us marks an important milestone and a positive step forward for our community,” said Dr. Sarah Rowan, medical director at Jefferson County Public Health. “Now, nearly everyone in our community is eligible to get vaccinated, and can be better protected from severe illness, hospitalizations and death from COVID-19.”

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages 6 months-4 years, and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages 6 months-5 years. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was already approved for children ages 5-17, and booster doses are strongly recommended for all children ages 5 and older when eligible.

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been rigorously tested through clinical trials to ensure they are safe for every eligible age group. While there are some differences in the two vaccines, both were proven to be effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19. In addition, both vaccines can be co-administered with other routine childhood vaccines, including MMR, tetanus, polio and influenza.

COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months and older are available at the JCPH clinic in Lakewood (645 Parfet St.) today. Pre-registration is encouraged at CDPHE’s vaccination finder. Find availability at the JCPH clinic by entering "Jefferson County" in Search by Name of Location and check "COVID-19 Vaccination" for "Which services are you seeking?" In addition, individuals may call 303-239-7040 to check walk-in availability. 

About the new pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine:

  • Ages eligible — 6 months-4 years (Ages 5 and older previously approved)
  • Number of doses — Three dose primary series, with the first and second doses separated by a minimum of 3 weeks and the second and third doses separated by at least 8 weeks
  • Strength of doses — 1/10 of the size and strength of a single adult dose
  • Side effects— Same as adult COVID-19 vaccine, as observed during clinical trials, and similar to other pediatric vaccines. Most side effects are mild and go away on their own within a few days. May include:
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Redness, pain and swelling on arm of injection 
  • Booster dose — Currently, a booster dose is not authorized for children in this age group, but boosters are recommended for ages 5 and older 

About the new pediatric Moderna vaccine:

  • Ages eligible — 6 months-5 years (Approval for ages 6-17 is pending)
  • Number of doses— Two dose primary series, with the first and second doses separated by 4-8 weeks
    • For those moderately to severely immunocompromised, there are 3 doses, each separated by 4 weeks
  • Strength of doses — 1/4 of the size and strength of a single adult dose
  • Side effects— Same as adult COVID-19 vaccine, as observed during clinical trials, and similar to other pediatric vaccines. Most side effects are mild and go away on their own within a few days. May include:
    • Tiredness
    • Headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Redness, pain and swelling on arm of injection
  • Booster dose — Currently, a booster dose is not authorized for children in this age group, but boosters of Moderna vaccines are recommended for adults 18 and older

While children frequently do not become as ill as adults from COVID-19, they still can contract and spread the virus, and children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 1 in 4 cases of COVID-19 nationwide are occurring in children and teens ages 17 and younger. As of June 2022, there have been more than 5 million cases of COVID-19 among children ages 5-11 and 2.5 million cases among children ages 0-4 in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic, according to the CDC, From June 8-14 in Jefferson County, children ages 0-4 had the highest incidence rate of all children with 186.4 cases per 100,000 people reported (53 total new cases within 7 days). 

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the severe complications of a COVID-19 infection. Even with the more highly contagious variants we have seen, the vaccines continue to protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death,” said Christine Billings, interim director of emergency preparedness and infectious disease at JCPH. “By choosing to vaccinate your children, you are helping to provide a layer of protection to those in your care and to the community. For those who have been waiting for this news, we are thankful this day is now here.”

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children, visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health.

pediatric, vaccine, COVID, children, healthcare, vaccination

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