Following extensive review by medical experts at both the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two COVID-19 vaccines are now available to children: Pfizer's vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years and Moderna’s vaccine for ages 6 months through 17 years. Newly eligible children can begin receiving the vaccines this week.
A momentous occasion
“This is momentous,” said David Brumbaugh, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “By giving the green light to COVID-19 vaccines for children 6 months and older, the FDA and CDC have signaled that both vaccines meet the strict standards for safety and effectiveness in babies and young children. Thanks to science, rigorous clinical trials and thorough review, we can now protect children of all ages from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.”
“We are thrilled that our youngest kids are now eligible to be protected,” said Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Colorado and member of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “We all want to be done with this pandemic, but unfortunately, it's not quite done with us. Vaccines are the strongest layer of protection we have to offer.”
Children’s Colorado to host State’s vaccine buses
Children’s Colorado is again proud to host mobile clinics that will be run by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment beginning June 22.
Mobile clinics will be available outside of Children’s Colorado hospitals in Aurora, Colorado Springs, Broomfield and Highlands Ranch several days per week. The clinics will include:
- Vaccine appointments for children 6 months to 5 years, with both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available
- COVID-19 vaccines and boosters for eligible adults and kids (walk in)
Experts advise families not to wait
With the long-awaited authorizations, all children down to 6 months of age can be immunized, protecting them from the virus and its potential complications, including severe infections that lead to hospitalizations and deaths.
“With cases ticking up, this is a great time to immunize our youngest patients against COVID-19,” said Dr. O’Leary. “It’s a good idea to get vaccinated now so children build up their immunity ahead of the upcoming school year and cold and flu season. Of course, it’s normal to have questions so we strongly encourage parents to speak with their child’s pediatrician to get answers.”
Extensive clinical trials show vaccines are safe, effective
The emergency use authorization and CDC recommendation show that the vaccines are safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits of the vaccine’s protection outweigh the risks. Getting the vaccine helps keep kids safe and protected from the risks of COVID-19.
“The ingenuity and industriousness of the scientific community to bring these lifesaving vaccines to everyone is nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr. Brumbaugh. “These mRNA vaccines are the most effective vaccines we’ve had to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths, and they are some of the safest medical experts have developed.”
Impacts of COVID-19 on children
“Having treated countless kids in the emergency room, I can tell you that babies and toddlers do get COVID-19 and it can be scary and serious for them and their parents,” said Lalit Bajaj, MD, MPH, Chief Quality and Outcomes Officer and pediatric emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Colorado. “Across the Children’s Hospital Colorado system, we have hospitalized and cared for thousands of children with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.”
“There’s a concerning misperception that this pandemic has not affected children,” said Dr. O’Leary. “However, many children have become critically ill with COVID, and – tragically – some have died. In fact, we know that annual pediatric deaths from COVID-19 have been higher than what we expect from the flu each year. The disease can be profoundly serious, and we are fortunate that we now can protect kids of all ages from severe COVID-19.”
Read more about the impact of COVID-19 on kids.
Learn about the COVID-19 vaccines for children
This has been a confusing time for all parents who have had to keep up with changing health guidance and the pandemic’s impact on social activities, school and everyday family life. Now is the time for parents to get answers about the vaccines from reliable sources.
Learn the top questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccines
We encourage parents to speak with their child's pediatrician about getting vaccinated.