There is hope! COVID-19 vaccines have arrived and more than two million adults have safely received a vaccine. Now that vaccinations are reaching adults, many families wonder when COVID-19 vaccines will be available for their children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a stepwise approach to vaccinating everyone, starting with healthcare workers and adults most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, then eventually providing vaccinations to everyone. Children under the age of 16 years will likely be last to receive vaccines.
Children under 16 years
Of the two Food and Drug Administration approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, Pfizer-BioNtech’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and up and Moderna’s vaccine is authorized for those ages 18 and up. For kids 12 years old and up, trials are still ongoing. Pfizer-BioNtech began trials in October and Moderna began earlier this month. With this in mind, vaccines for tween and teens will probably not be available for months. Since trials have not started for younger children, expect vaccine availability to take even longer.
For now, the vaccination of adults may provide some protection to children until they too can receive the vaccine. Until then, we will continue to wear masks, distance, and wash hands often.
Please stay vigilant with your children. As some of our patients have learned all too painfully, best friends and close relatives can innocently carry the virus causing COVID-19. Remember, COVID-19 can look like a common cold. Although only one percent of children who contract Sars-Cov-2, require intensive care, the disease has caused 154 deaths and more than 7,500 hospitalizations as of Dec. 3 for those 19 years old and younger in the United States.
We are optimistic that in 2021, as more and more folks get vaccinated, we will move closer to containing COVID-19.
Wishing you all a Happy and HEALTHY New Year in 2021!
Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
©2020 Two Peds in a Pod®