Families urged to talk to pediatricians about COVID vaccines

Press Staff Writer

        With COVID-19 vaccines now authorized and available for children younger than 5 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges parents and caregivers to reach out to their pediatrician or other trusted health care clinician to ask any questions they may have and to learn how they can access the vaccines.
        “Parents have been waiting a long time to vaccinate their youngest children so they can get the same protection against serious illness and hospitalization that the rest of us have been offered,” said AAP President Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP. “The months, and even years, of worry have been especially hard on these families as they adjusted their activities through the pandemic to keep their children safe. COVID vaccination for this age group is one more tool parents now have in their toolbox to help their children thrive.”
        As with all vaccines, parents are encouraged to talk with their pediatricians about the COVID vaccines. One-on-one conversations with doctors who know their children is the best way to get factual information from trusted sources.
        To encourage those conversations, AAP is launching two new public service announcements in English and Spanish that encourage parents to talk with their child’s pediatrician. No matter what questions parents have, pediatricians are a trusted sounding board and source of individualized medical advice. The PSAs are available on YouTube in English and Spanish.
        On June 18, AAP updated its policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine for children and adolescents to reflect the availability of safe and effective vaccines for children ages 6 months and older. In the policy, the AAP recommends all children aged 6 months and older who do not have contraindications receive a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for their age group. This includes primary series and boosters as recommended by the CDC.
        For children under age 5, families may choose either the two-dose Moderna vaccine or the three-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. “Both vaccines are safe and offer good protection against the most severe effects of the virus,” said Yvonne “Bonnie” A. Maldonado, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.
        “Millions of children and teens have been vaccinated, and we know a lot about how safe and effective the vaccines are in older age groups. The data are also very reassuring in this youngest age group,” Dr. Maldonado said.


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