Vermont Pediatricians and Family Physicians Welcome Authorization of COVID-19 Vaccines for Children under 5

MONTPELIER (June 18th, 2022) – Vermont child health professionals welcome the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for young children over the age of 6 months by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the unanimous recommendation for use in this age group by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 

Data presented to the FDA and CDC show that the benefits of vaccination in this age group outweigh the risks. The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter (AAPVT) and the American Academy of Family Physicians Vermont Chapter (VTAFP) recommend COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible children. All children will benefit from vaccination regardless of underlying health status or prior COVID-19 infection. 

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for young children are a smaller dose than that recommended for adults and older children and show similar antibody responses in clinical trials. Both vaccines were well-tolerated by young children with no serious safety concerns.

“Child health professionals have been vaccinating children and adolescents over 5 years of age for many months now. Our vaccinated patients have been well-protected from severe COVID-19 disease and we are eager to offer this same protection to younger children” said Dr. Rebecca Bell, president of AAPVT.

Vermont has led the way in COVID-19 vaccination of children and adolescents. Pediatricians and Family Physicians have been working with the Vermont Department of Health to prepare to receive shipments of vaccine for our youngest patients. We expect to be able to administer the vaccines in the coming weeks. 

“Vaccinating children against COVID-19 provides an opportunity to safely prepare the immune system for future exposures of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and to protect children against serious disease caused by the virus” said Dr. Katie Marvin, president of VTAFP. “Families of young children have been waiting a long time for this opportunity”.

We encourage families to reach out to their child’s health professional with any questions they may have. We are accustomed to being a trusted source of information around vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccine is no different. Protecting children from vaccine-preventable illnesses is a top priority for pediatricians and family physicians and we are ready to counsel families on the importance of vaccination. 

See pdf of press release here.

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