COVID-19 Q&A: Vaccine is now available for children ages 6 months and older

June 21, 2022
Dr. Christine Hahn, state epidemiologist and the Division of Public Health’s medical director

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to everyone ages 6 months and older. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now both newly recommended and available for children 6 months through 5 years old (Moderna) and 6 months through 4 years old (Pfizer).

What are the main differences in the doses for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children ages 5 and younger?

For Pfizer: Children age 6 months through 4 years old will receive a three-dose series, with the first and second doses spaced three weeks apart and a third at least two months after the second dose. The dosage for this age group is one-tenth the adult dosage.

For Moderna: Children age 6 months through 5 years old will receive a two-dose series, with two doses spaced four weeks apart. The dosage for this age group is one-quarter of the adult dosage.

Why should I get my child a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 has become one of the top 10 causes of death for children. While children are less likely than adults to become severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, the virus is unpredictable. Vaccination is the best way to protect children from getting really sick from COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html

Where can I get my child vaccinated?

We expect to have plenty of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months and older in Idaho. Vaccines are available from both Pfizer and Moderna by searching https://www.vaccines.gov/search/ Find a location near you and make an appointment, or call your child’s healthcare provider.

Are the vaccines safe for children that young?

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are safe for children, based on data from clinical trials and the fact that 22 million children and adolescents ages 5-17 have already gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have concerns, please discuss them with your child’s healthcare provider. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html

Dr. Christine Hahn is Idaho’s state epidemiologist and the Division of Public Health’s medical director. She is board certified in infectious disease and works in an Idaho tuberculosis clinic twice monthly. She also serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and since late February 2020, has been focusing almost solely on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.