Two vaccines have been authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use for infants and toddlers.
Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) says it’s prepared to begin providing COVID-19 vaccines for children six months and older. The CDC and FDA have approved the use of a three-dose Pfizer vaccine for children six months to five years old. Both agencies have also approved a two-dose Moderna vaccine for children from six months to six years old.
“The approval of the vaccines for young children across the state and the nation is welcome news for many parents who have been waiting for the opportunity to provide valuable protection for their children from COVID-19,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “Parents can begin scheduling appointments early next week with many vaccine providers, including pediatricians and primary care physicians, who will have the vaccine available for administration as early as Tuesday, June 21.”
Pharmacists are permitted to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all children ages three and older in Pennsylvania without a prescription. Parents who would like to vaccinate children under three years of age are required to consult their pediatrician, family doctor, or any other qualified physician beforehand.
According to the DOH, Pfizer’s three-dose vaccine for children uses three micrograms per shot, one-tenth of Pfizer’s shot for adults. Pfizer recommends that children receive the second dose three weeks after the first and the third shot eight weeks after the second. Moderna’s two-dose vaccine for children ages six months through six years calls for 25 micrograms per shot, which is one-quarter of their adult dose.
Moderna recommends the second shot be administered 28 days after the initial dose.
“It is critical for parents to make sure their children receive the complete series of shots for the vaccine to be as effective as possible,” Johnson added. “The CDC says for the vaccine to reach its efficacy, children need to receive the recommended three doses of the Pfizer vaccine and two doses of the Moderna vaccine.”
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