Child Care and VaccinationsJuly 18, 2022 | By Child Care Aware of Kansas
In June 2022, the FDA granted emergency authorization to both Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 5 years of age. Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend all eligible infants and children without contraindications get vaccinated.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been around for years now, but lately there has been an uptick in cases. This rise in cases brings not only concern to healthcare workers, but also to childcare providers who are continuing to work hard to provide safe spaces for children to learn and grow. Being able to keep their doors open for parents to bring their children remains a priority. One positive COVID case within the program could mean shutting down entire classrooms for a couple weeks, leading to loss of income for both childcare providers and parents as they now have to stay home from work or find alternative childcare.
Encouraging vaccination among eligible infants and children is one way parents and child care providers can work together to help ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all children. Being fully vaccinated allows individuals to avoid isolation when exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID if they are able to mask effectively, and it helps to prevent severe illness in those who test positive themselves. More than half of all children ages 6 months – 4 years who were hospitalized with COVID-19 had no underlying conditions. Among children, vaccination against COVID creates a broader immune response compared to natural immunity gained from previous infection. This emphasizes the importance of vaccinating children who previously had COVID to prevent both future illness and severe disease. Child care providers and parents should also consider getting their booster shot or becoming fully vaccinated, if not already, to further protect the little ones they care for.
Children can receive their COVID-19 vaccination at the same time as their other well-child vaccinations. The Moderna vaccine is 2 doses, each administered 4-8 weeks apart. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 3 doses. Doses 1 and 2 of the Pfizer vaccine are administered 3-8 weeks apart, with the 3rd dose being given at least 8 weeks after the 2nd dose. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last dose. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend one vaccine over the other. Parents can take their children to their pediatrician’s office for more information on getting vaccinated.
Child care providers looking to review their illness and exclusion or COVID-19 policies, can reach out to Child Care Health Consultants at (785) 823-3343 and request to speak with the Nurse Consultant in their area, through our website at www.ks.childcareaware.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Nurse Consultants are ready to provide one-on-one meetings tailored specifically to each program’s needs regarding COVID-19 or any other health and wellness concerns. We understand the concerns this next wave of COVID brings and are ready to provide support and resources in preparing for whatever lies ahead.
Covid Vaccine under 5
- 6/17/22 FDA gave emergency authorization
- 6/18/22 CDC approved the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months – 5 years, and Pfizer for children ages 6 months – 4 years
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all eligible infants, children and adolescents without contraindications get vaccinated
- The Moderna vaccine is 2 doses administered 4-8 weeks apart. Immunocompromised individuals can receive three doses, with each dose administered 4 weeks apart
- Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 3 doses. Dose 1 and 2 are administered 3-8 weeks apart, with the 3rd dose being given at least 8 weeks after the 2nd dose. Immunocompromised children should receive each of the three doses 4 weeks apart
- Among children, Covid vaccine induces broader antibody response compared to infection-induced immunity. This shows the importance of vaccinating children with prior infection to prevent both severe disease and future infections
- Clinical trials for both brands of the vaccine proved to be safe and effective, with serious adverse events occurring in 1% of vaccine recipients, compared to 1.5% in the placebo recipients
- More than half of all children hospitalized with Covid-19 aged 6 months – 4 years had no underlying conditions
- “CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older if eligible.”
- “The good news is that vaccination in our littlest ones… is likely to prevent serious infection, complications, and death related to COVID-19. For example, in one study, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine reduced MIS-C (multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children) by 91% in youth 12 to 18 years of age.”
- “The vaccines for our littlest ones are comprised of much smaller doses than the adult vaccines—Moderna’s is two doses (each a quarter of the adult dose) one month apart for kids 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer’s is three doses (each a tenth of the adult dose) over 11 weeks for kids 6 months to 4 years”
- The AAP does not recommend one vaccine over the other.
- Vaccine can be given at same time as other immunizations
- Babies and young children 6 months to 5 years who get COVID vaccines likely will get protection similar to the protection older kids get. The level of protection from symptoms of COVID infection is less than 50%. Both vaccines are expected to be much more effective in preventing hospitalization and other serious issues.
- This letter provides 3 actionable ideas for childcare providers to promote vaccinations among their community.