The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices cleared the way for children as young as six months old to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
That means children under the age of 5 can receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine is recommended even for children who have had the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the government agencies.
As soon as today, parents will have the option to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their children from a pediatricians office or a pharmacy. There will be hundreds of pharmacy locations that are offering the COVID-19 vaccine to children, according to DCP officials. There’s also the option to get vaccinated at a local health district or one of the yellow vans in the community.
Public health officials in Connecticut are recommending that even though most children have mild symptoms, they could still get the vaccine because there’s a chance some could get very ill.
However, public comments on whether the vaccine should be approved were mixed.
“Please approve both Moderna and Pfizer asap. We’ve waited long enough. Our kids need protection done all mitigation measures have gone away!,” Lois Truby said in written testimony to the ACIP.
Joy Scabilloni said “As a mother of 2 under 5 I am so excited to be able to get my kids vaccinated.”
D.M. Hoover said there is no COVID emergency for children under the age of 5.
Debbie Piel agreed.
“Please reject the approval for these useless vaccines for children. There is no COVID emergency for children,” she said.
According to the discussion at last week’s meeting, COVID-19 is the leading cause of infectious disease-related death in people up to 19-years-old. The agency said as of May 28, more than 400 children 0-4 years, have died due to COVID.
“Among people ages 1-4, COVID is fifth most common cause of all causes of death,” Dr. Matthew Daley said Friday.
But rates overall are dropping in Connecticut and across the country.
As of Friday, Connecticut’s positivity rate for COVID-19 had dropped to 8.1%, from the high teens just a few months ago.
But health officials say that’s not an excuse not to get vaccinated.
“Now is the time to make sure that our youngest residents receive the same protection from severe COVID-19 disease as our school-aged youth and adults have had available to them for over a year,” the Connecticut Department of Public Health said. “We also want to stress that there is no shortage of vaccines available for people of all ages and that anyone who has not been vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. The virus that causes COVID-19 is moving its way across the country and there is a very high likelihood that we will see another significant uptick later this year.”