The short answer: Hopefully, kids younger than 5 years old will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine this summer.
We know the news around the COVID-19 vaccine for kids can be confusing. Here’s a breakdown of what we know, what’s been announced and what’s to come.
Thankfully, many kids can currently be protected from COVID-19 with a vaccine, helping not only them, but also those around them. Continued study of the vaccines has shown that they are extremely safe and effective in preventing severe illness, and if infection does occur, the vaccinated person has such a low viral load that they have a much lower chance of spreading the disease. Additionally, especially in kids, serious side-effects of the vaccine have been extremely rare.
Kids 5 years old and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new meeting dates that will push the process forward.
A lot of steps need to be completed in order to have the vaccine approved, so if the latest updates seem confusing, just follow along with these steps.
More than 5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States since the start of 2022. While it’s true that kids typically experience less severe symptoms than adults, some children get very sick and require hospitalization or need to be placed on a ventilator to help them breathe. We also know that some children have developed a rare, but serious, inflammatory condition called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C as a result of COVID-19.
If you have a child 5 years of age or older, definitely get them vaccinated because that will help protect younger siblings and other family members who may be unable to get the vaccine.
Continue to have kids wash their hands often, watch their distance from others who you don’t know, and consider wearing a mask in public settings.
Every family has its own risk tolerance. If your family includes vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, decide on your risk tolerance for your entire family unit. Where you’re going, how many people will be there, how much time you’ll spend there, and the vaccination status of attendees are factors to take into consideration.
When kids younger than 5 are eligible for the vaccine, it’s important to vaccinate them for their protection, to help protect your family, and to help stop community spread. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic and get back to the things we (and our kids) love.
We encourage you to speak with your child’s pediatrician if you have specific questions or concerns about your child or unique family situation.
For more information from Children’s Wisconsin about COVID-19, visit our NewsHub and choose the COVID-19 category.