April 25, 2024

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UF Health pediatrics expert answers questions about COVID-19 vaccines for kids under age 5

6 min read
UF Health pediatrics expert answers questions about COVID-19 vaccines for kids under age 5

Sonja A. Rasmussen, M.D., is a professor in the departments of pediatrics and epidemiology at the UF College of Medicine and the UF College of Public Health and Health ProfessionsWith the U.S. Foods and Drug Administration authorizing the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for children as younger as 6 months of age, UF Wellness pediatrics pro Sonja A. Rasmussen, M.D., discusses what dad and mom ought to know about the pictures. Rasmussen is a professor in the departments of pediatrics and epidemiology at the UF School of Drugs and the UF College or university of Public Wellness and Well being Professions.  

Issue: What had been the main criteria and info the Food and Drug Administration made use of in producing its determination to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children underneath age 5?

Reply: The Fda and their impartial advisors critique facts from the vaccine companies to be guaranteed the vaccines are harmless and powerful. The fantastic news is that the Food and drug administration evaluation of these reports confirmed that that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe and successful for young youngsters 6 months to 5 decades of age. These vaccines shield young children towards serious condition from COVID-19.

Q: How arduous was the vaccine-testing system in children beneath age 5? What aspect results ended up witnessed most typically?

A: The experiments had been meticulously carried out — security details ended up out there on a lot more than 3,000 young children who been given the Pfizer vaccine and just about 4,800 children who received the Moderna vaccine. Regional side results (discomfort or redness at the injection site) were widespread. Facet effects these types of as fever had been a lot more widespread right after the Moderna vaccine than after the Pfizer vaccine. Fever is a frequent aspect effect soon after other vaccines that are provided to kids.

Q: Study has shown the vaccine is about 91{b574a629d83ad7698d9c0ca2d3a10ad895e8e51aa97c347fc42e9508f0e4325d} successful in blocking COVID-19 in kids ages 5-11. What does the efficacy information present amongst children beneath age 5? 

A: The 91{b574a629d83ad7698d9c0ca2d3a10ad895e8e51aa97c347fc42e9508f0e4325d} vaccine success estimate suggests the vaccine’s capability to shield versus some of the earlier COVID-19 virus variants. The virus has modified given that it 1st was discovered so vaccine usefulness versus having COVID-19 is decrease for the Omicron variant that is circulating now than it was before in the pandemic. Even so, the key benefit of these vaccines is their skill to protect against critical illness, this kind of as needing to be hospitalized, or dying. The vaccine performance is better for that.

For kids beneath 5 yrs outdated, vaccine efficiency versus obtaining COVID-19 for the two-dose Moderna vaccine is 41.5{b574a629d83ad7698d9c0ca2d3a10ad895e8e51aa97c347fc42e9508f0e4325d}. For the 3-dose Pfizer vaccine, the vaccine effectiveness was 80.3{b574a629d83ad7698d9c0ca2d3a10ad895e8e51aa97c347fc42e9508f0e4325d}, but that selection was centered on a compact selection of small children so it could be lessen or higher than this. As with more mature kids, we assume that these vaccines will do a far better position of stopping severe disorder than they do protecting against gentle illness.

Q: If moms and dads are made available a option, which vaccine should really their baby get?

A: Equally the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are protected and powerful so the essential matter is for small children to get vaccinated. Even so, there are some discrepancies that mother and father will need to contemplate. The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose sequence, with the two doses separated by at least 28 days. The Pfizer vaccine is a 3-dose collection, with the first two doses finished at the very least 21 days aside and the 3rd dose presented at the very least 8 weeks afterwards. Both of those the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may have to have added booster doses later on.

Although the studies confirmed increased vaccine efficiency for the Pfizer vaccine than the Moderna vaccine, moms and dads need to have to look at several crucial troubles: The Pfizer vaccine necessitates 3 doses so little ones will not get that increased amount of defense until right after the 3rd vaccine dose, whilst the Moderna vaccine needs two doses to get the stage of safety located in the reports. The scientific tests were conducted at different occasions and diverse areas. That suggests the variants circulating ended up unique so the vaccine efficacy estimates can’t be directly in comparison. At last, the selection of kids who received COVID-19 in the Pfizer review was smaller. For that rationale, the vaccine usefulness could possibly be bigger or lower than the quantity quoted.

Based on what we know, we anticipate that each vaccines will be remarkably protecting against significant COVID-19. Talk with your doctor if you need help selecting which vaccine your baby should get.

Q: If young children never experience serious COVID-19 indications as normally as adults, why do they want the vaccine?

A: Even though small children are at lower danger of significant disorder, hospitalization and loss of life than grownups, that doesn’t signify they are not at risk. In excess of 400 young children considerably less than 5 decades of age have died of COVID-19. We also have viewed quite a few youngsters who have wanted to be hospitalized throughout the the latest Omicron wave. Little ones underneath age 5 had the highest fee of hospitalizations when compared with other children. Fewer than half of the young little ones who desired to be hospitalized had an fundamental healthcare problem. The other youngsters were being earlier nutritious. Amongst small children who were hospitalized, about one particular in 4 required intense treatment unit care.

On top of that, conditions of prolonged COVID in which signs or symptoms past for months immediately after getting contaminated with the virus, can manifest in children. Vaccines decrease the prospects of receiving long COVID.

Also, it’s vital to observe the disruption in little one treatment and college of youngsters because of to COVID-19. We anticipate that these COVID-19 vaccines will reduce infections, bringing us closer to returning our lives to normal.

Q: What is the variation in vaccine dosing and facet consequences in youngsters younger than 5 years aged in comparison with grownups?

A: The dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 3 micrograms, one-tenth of what grown ups obtain. The dose of the Moderna vaccine is 25 micrograms, a single-fourth of what grown ups acquire. All through the clinical trials, the aspect effects ended up nominal. For the more youthful age group (6-23 months), irritability and drowsiness had been the most widespread side consequences. In the older age team (2-5 year olds), ache at the injection web site and fatigue were the most prevalent side outcomes. For those obtaining Moderna vaccine, 1 in 4 experienced a fever. For those receiving Pfizer, 1 in 20 had a fever. This helps make perception because the dose of Moderna vaccine is greater. In the Moderna review, just one child experienced a fever, seizure, and a rash immediately after the vaccine. That was the only significant adverse function that was considered to be attributable to the vaccine. 

Q: Are there any children below age 5 who should not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: Little ones who have experienced a intense allergic response to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine need to not get the vaccine. Request your physician if you believe your little one could possibly be allergic to a component of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Q: How shortly and exactly where regionally may I be in a position to get my youngster below age 5 vaccinated? 

A: We are hopeful that the vaccines will start off to be available someday this week at doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other spots the place vaccines are typically specified.Media get in touch with:

Doug Bennett at [email protected] or 352-265-9400.

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