Conn. Prepares for Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Under 5

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Parents may soon have the option to vaccinate children six months to 4-years-old against COVID-19.

On Friday, the FDA authorized Pfizer and Moderna’s shots for the youngest age group. Now it heads to the CDC for the agency’s recommendations.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health said those doses are set to arrive in the state on Monday. Assuming the CDC signs off on it this weekend, the vaccine is expected to be available as soon as next week.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a while now, so we’re very excited this is happening,” said Jeremy Gable of Hartford.

Two-year-old Magnolia, along with around 180,000 other children in the state, could soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“She’s been able to barely see anyone during this time throughout her entire development. This has been very difficult for us, so this has been great news. We’ve been on cloud nine the past couple of days hearing this,” Gable said.

“My oldest is seven, and she’s already gotten her vaccine because she was eligible. And now my four-year-old, we feel the same way. When it is available to us, we will make that happen,” said Jessica Cote of Newington.

Earlier this week, the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee unanimously recommended authorizing the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for young children.

On Friday, the FDA authorized them. The CDC advisory committee is expected to vote Saturday and then the CDC director would need to sign off on it.

For those six months to four-years-old, Pfizer’s vaccine will have three total shots. The first two doses are given three weeks apart with a third dose given at least two months later. Each dose is one-tenth of what’s given to adults.

For children six months to five-years-old, Moderna’s vaccine will have two shots given one month apart. Each dose is a quarter of what’s given to adults.

Former FDA Associate Commissioner Peter Pitts said the risks are very low.

“The benefits are profound because obviously it keeps kids out of the hospital and reduces deaths to almost zero. And it makes kids less infectious for the other kids and adults who are around them,” Pitts said.

The state health department said more than 14,000 doses of Moderna and more than 12,000 doses of Pfizer are ordered and will be shipped directly to providers. The DPH said no shortage is expected.

“I think the most important advice I can give to parents is go and talk to your pediatrician and follow their advice,” Pitts said.

Some of the most common side effects reported for the vaccines are fever, pain at the injection site, chills and irritability.

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