Delaware to start COVID vaccines for young children this week

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COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 6 months to 5 years will begin this week in Delaware.

The Delaware Division of Public Health is moving forward with vaccinations for this age group after an emergency use authorization was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Friday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed the clearance on Saturday.

The first shipments of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for young children arrived in Delaware on Monday and will be assigned to medical providers who pre-ordered them. While some providers may be ready to start administering vaccines today, others have said they will start later.

Public Health has encouraged parents to contact their pediatric care provider for details on timings. Parents can also visit here for a list of providers offering inoculations.

“We are incredibly pleased and relieved that a COVID-19 vaccine is now available for our youngest population starting at 6 months old,” Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said in a statement. . “We recognize the anxiety that parents of young children have faced waiting for the vaccine to become available as they look for ways to protect their youngest from this virus. We hope parents will consult with their child’s healthcare provider or appropriate medical facility to determine the best option for them.

Vaccines will be available from pediatricians, primary care providers, public health clinics and federally licensed health centers. A few additional providers have also agreed to vaccinate non-patients. This information will be added to de.gov/youthvaccine as it becomes available.

Pharmacies will also vaccinate infants and children in this age group. However, state public health officials said it’s important for families to know that not all pharmacies will vaccinate children under age 3. Participating pharmacies can be viewed on vaccines.gov with a new feature, which allows pharmacies to enter the lowest age they want. to be vaccinated and should appear when parents are looking for a vaccine for this youngest age group.

Public Health Division officials said the agency expects vaccine supply and access for this age group to increase as the week progresses.

Although Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines have been licensed for this age group, there are some minor differences between the two vaccines.

Moderna’s vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years is a two-dose series of vaccines – a quarter of the adult dose. Public health officials have said its estimated effectiveness varies by age.

The Pfizer vaccine is a three-dose primary series, one-tenth the adult dose, and is licensed for children 6 months to 4 years old. Pfizer already had an approved vaccine for 5-year-olds. Pfizer estimates that its vaccine is 80% effective after the third dose for children 6 months to 4 years old.

The division said that for Moderna, the most commonly reported side effects across all ages included pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, fever and swelling/tenderness in the armpits near the injection site. ‘injection. Side effects of Pfizer include irritability, decreased appetite, fever, headache, chills and pain, tenderness, redness and swelling at the injection site.

A table is available here to explain the differences between the two vaccines. Parents or guardians with questions about which vaccine is right for their child should consult their pediatrician or family doctor/health care provider, the Public Health Division said.

While children and teens are generally less likely than adults to become seriously ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, during last winter’s omicron surge their rates of illness increased. . Infants and children under the age of 5 have been hospitalized with the virus at about five times the rate they were during the fall 2020 delta surge1, a Centers for Disease Control study recently found. and Prevention.

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