Looking for the latest news on the COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12? We have everything you need to know to protect your child.

You don’t need us to tell you that COVID-19 has certainly disrupted normal life for adults and children alike. As adults were able to get vaccinated, it felt a little like life was coming back. However, children are still social distancing and fully masked in school. Many children and parents continue to experience anxiety surrounding the pandemic because currently, the vaccine is only approved for children 12 and older.

That can all change soon, though. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12 is likely coming in the very near future. That means you can start to feel more comfortable with school, playdates, travel, and in-person, indoor activities for your children. That’s right, get that sigh of relief ready and keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the vaccine for little ones.

When will a COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12 be available?

The New York Times reported that on October 7th, Pfizer and BioNTech asked federal regulators to authorize emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year old children. In their request, they provided data on efficacy to the FDA, who promised to move quickly on a decision. They tentatively set a meeting date for October 26th and a ruling could come out as early as October 31st. 

Likewise, the CDC is expected to meet on November 2nd and 3rd to discuss. Generally, the decision from the CDC is considered the last word from the government. Therefore, parents can expect to know if the vaccine is available for their children under 12 by early November.

How does the COVID-19 vaccine for kids work?

In a press release by Pfizer, they explained the trials that they did with children under 12 to test the vaccine. They used one-third of the amount used on adults and found that the vaccine was as effective in fully vaccinated children as teens and young adults who received the regular amount. Children can expect “side effects generally comparable to those observed in participants 16 to 25 years of age” according to Pfizer.

Is the COVID vaccine safe for kids?

Yes, the Pfizer vaccine is safe and has already been approved for kids 12 and up. Based on the research presented in the Pfizer press release, the drug company believes that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for kids under 12, as well. If the FDA and CDC approve its use for children under 12, then we will be able to say it is safe for younger children, as well.

It is important to remember with any medication or vaccine that allergic reactions are possible. Parents should speak with their child’s doctor to make sure they are eligible for the vaccine when it is available. 

Will there be an available Moderna vaccine for kids?

Like Pfizer, Moderna has also been working on trials to test their COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12. They began recruiting patients in March, however, both Pfizer and Moderna were asked by the FDA to increase the size of their trials. Pfizer is on a faster timeline than Moderna, which is why their vaccine is being discussed for approval first. 

When will there be a COVID vaccine for toddlers?

Both Pfizer and Moderna have included children as young as 6 months in their vaccine trials. However, the data and emergency authorization that was submitted last week by Pfizer is only to approve vaccine use for children aged 5 to 11 year olds. 

The Washington Post reported that the tests for younger children were pushed when researchers asked Pfizer and Moderna to include more school-aged children in their trials to ensure against rare side effects like heart inflammation seen in a small number of older children and teens. Once the vaccine is approved for children ages 5 to 11, they will return to safety and efficacy trials for toddlers and babies.

Should kids get the COVID vaccine?

Ultimately, it is up to the parent or guardian to decide if their child should receive the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved for their age group. However, Drexel University pediatrics professor Dr. Sarah Long explained in an interview with The AP, “It’s unlikely we could get community protection without immunizing children. This is the lynchpin to getting everything back to some kind of normalcy.”

In addition, once more children are eligible for the vaccine, schools will likely begin requiring immunization. As it stands, many colleges and universities have already done this and some high schools are starting to require vaccines for student athletes and other internal communities, according to US News.

Vaccinating your child when it becomes available will protect them from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and give you peace of mind when sending them to school, signing them up for in-person activities, and returning to a more normal world. 

If you are looking for additional guidance on COVID-19 and children, you are not alone. There is new information coming out every day and keeping up can make your head spin. That’s why here at Sawyer, we want to help you stay updated and informed while providing enriching in-person and online classes and activities for children of all ages. 

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