As clinical trials commence for children to receive vaccinations against Covid-19, many parents are wondering how to plan for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond. While the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics will ultimately make recommendations based on these trials, your primary care providers at One Pediatrics have some practical advice in the meantime.
“First and foremost, we urge parents to make sure their kids are up-to-date on all regular immunizations,” says Dr. Eliot Thompson at Springs Pediatrics. “If a Covid-19 vaccine is available for kids before the school year starts in August, we anticipate a big rush of families to get it. If you wait until that same time of year to get a well visit, a Covid-19 shot may conflict with regular vaccines or vice versa.”
FDA guidelines stipulate that a person receiving a Covid-19 vaccine must not have gotten any other shots, including allergy shots, within the two weeks prior. Further, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be given in two doses 21 days and 28 days apart, respectively. To avoid a delay in any routine vaccines, especially those required for school attendance, scheduling a well visit in the spring or early summer is a smart move. If your child receives allergy shots, we recommend having a conversation with your allergist to plan accordingly.
In Kentucky, individuals ages 16 and up are eligible to receive a vaccine. The Pfizer option is approved for 16- and 17-year-olds, while Moderna is authorized only for ages 18 and up. We encourage you to protect the adults and older teens in your home for now, and continue wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and social distancing. These are the best ways to protect kids as we await vaccine approval.
Most pediatric patients do not develop serious symptoms from Covid-19, but they can experience some complications or spread the illness without any symptoms at all. Every One Pediatrics practice offers testing for Covid-19, so contact your pediatrician if you are concerned about exposure or symptoms including fever, cough, headache, sinus issues, body aches or chills, and/or loss of taste/smell.
For more information and a number of helpful links, visit https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx