It's official! Our youngest patients will have to opportunity to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. We will likely receive our vaccine allotment this week and have begun plans for an in office COVID vaccine clinic. Please stay tuned.
Here is a great resource for parents who have questions about the vaccine - Click Here
Parents of younger children, it is safe to celebrate the long awaited news that the FDA has approved both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for our youngest patients.
Shots can not be distributed or administered until the CDC's vaccine advisers vote to recommend them and the Director, Rochelle Wallensky signs off on this recommendation.
The vote is scheduled for Saturday.
Once approved, our office will be provided distribution information and make a plan for vaccinating our patients. Please check website next week; the most up-to-date information will be there.
6/15/22 update: Today, the Advisory Panel to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted unanimously (21-0) to recommend authorization of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines for our children 6 months through 5 yrs. FYI - the FDA uses committees and panels to obtain independent expert advice on scientific, technical, and policy matters.
This vote appears to be largely supported by immune response data and safety data. The exact efficacy data (how effective it is against past, current, and expected variants) has been discussed and is under continuous review. This is unlikely to delay vaccine approval by itself. Now we await the recommendations from the FDA followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We understand that many of you have reached out to our office waiting to hear our vaccination plan and advice for children under 5 years. We understand the anticipation and kindly ask that you resist calling the office at this time to keep our phone lines clear for parents that require more urgent attention. Read on...
Here are the answers to some of the questions we have gotten this week
Will we offer the COVID vaccine series to our patients 6 months to 5 years old? Yes, we are currently working on a tentative plan to provide a COVID vaccine clinic for our youngest patients. We expect to have more information from the FDA and CDC by early next week. We are unable to plan ahead of this important information. Please check back for Part 2.
How can parents pre-register their child for the vaccine? We are waiting to get more information before we decide on the type of vaccine we will provide (Moderna, Pfizer, or both) and the days that we will be able to have a COVID vaccine clinic. We are unable to pre-register patients at this time.
Is there a waiting list? No, there is no waiting list. As soon as we have the vaccine and a plan we will update the "News" section of the website and post information on Facebook. We will have instructions for scheduling the vaccine series.
Will our office prefer one vaccine brand over the other, Pfizer or Moderna? We are unsure at this time. We are waiting to hear from the FDA, CDC, and AAP. We will share this soon and promise to be a trusted resource.
Once approved, can we get our child vaccinated somewhere else if more convenient? Sure! We firmly believe that the COVID vaccine is a good choice for most children and advise you to get it where you can and feel comfortable. You will likely be able to find vaccine administration sites throughout Maryland. You can check your county's school website as well as: Vaccines.gov Covidvax.maryland.gov https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine
What are we waiting for? The vaccine has already shown good safety data. At this time, we are waiting to hear more specifics about efficacy (likelihood of preventing symptomatic COVID-19), storage, distribution, spacing of vaccines, and of course, EUA.
Lastly, here is why COVID vaccines for this age group are still important
While only about 3% of U.S. COVID cases are in the age group 6 months to 4 years, hospitalization and death rates in that group are higher than those for older children, according to the FDA's analysis - one reason experts have said protecting this group is important.