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COVID-19 Vaccination for Children

Update for children under 5: We have scheduled a vaccine clinic for children ages 6 months – 5 years. We have both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at this time. Registration is required.
 

Registration is now available for the next COVID-19 vaccination clinic for ages 6 months – 5 years:

Friday, September 23rd, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Carroll County Health Department, 290 South Center Street, Westminster

 
Please note that at this time, we are not able to vaccinate children under age 5 at our regular clinics. 
 
Getting Your Child Vaccinated
Talk to your children’s healthcare provider to see if they are offering the COVID-19 vaccine. They may be the best option for your children. Additional options for children under age 5 currently include:
 
Children age 5+ can be vaccinated at our regular clinics. We will provide updates on local clinic plans on this web page and social media.
 

Information about COVID-19 Vaccination for Children

Although fewer children have been infected with COVID-19 compared to adults so far during the pandemic, rates of infection in younger age groups have increased significantly in recent months. Children can:

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get sick from COVID-19
  • Be hospitalized, seriously ill, or die from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

The CDC now recommends that:

Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about getting your child vaccinated against COVID-19. It is safe to receive COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as the flu vaccine and other vaccinations.

From Deputy Health Officer Dr. Robert Wack, pediatrician 

The Carroll County Health Department will soon begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children under age 5. The following information will help answer important questions as you do your best to keep your children healthy and safe. 

We realize that parents will make their own decisions on whether to have their children vaccinated. Our goals are:

1) to provide parents with the most accurate and up-to-date information available; and

2) to provide access to care for parents who are ready to have their children vaccinated

 

Information on COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 

Here are key reasons to consider COVID-19 vaccination for your child:

Infections:

  • Children are susceptible to COVID-19 infection. Well over 2 million cases of COVID-19 infections have occurred in U.S. children under age 5.
  • Children at risk for long-term health problems from COVID-19 infections. Most studies show about 5% of infected children will have symptoms lasting longer than 1 month.

Hospitalizations:

  • During the Omicron wave, children under age 5 had a significantly higher rate of hospitalization than older children or teens. This is likely due in large part to a lack of vaccination in this age group.
  • More hospitalizations (over 20,000 young children) and deaths (over 400) occurred in this age group as a result of COVID-19 infections than from any other infectious disease.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations have been about 2-3 times higher than influenza hospitalizations during any flu season over the past decade.
  • More than half of hospitalized children (63%) had no underlying health conditions.

Deaths:

  • There have also been 2-3 times more deaths per year from COVID-19 than from a typical influenza season.
  • Over the past 2 ½ years, COVID-19 is the single leading cause of death among American children younger than age 6.

COVID-19 Vaccinations in children

  • Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines show effectiveness in young children comparable to that in older children and adults.
  • Safety studies for both vaccines are very reassuring. There were no cases of myocarditis. There were no deaths among vaccinated children.
  • Mild fevers and irritability occur in about 10% of children after vaccination. This is comparable to other routine pediatric vaccinations.
  • Find more information on studies here: Mayo Clinics COVID-19 Vaccinations for Kids 

The best current evidence indicates that:

  • Vaccination of children under age 5 will reduce symptomatic infections by 40- 50%. This is consistent with effectiveness for older age groups against current COVID-19 variants.
  • Based on longer-term data in older populations, it is likely that vaccination of young children will reduce illnesses severe enough to result in hospitalization by 70-75%.

What else should parents consider?

  • Children with many types of underlying health conditions (chronic respiratory problems, including asthma, conditions that impair the immune system, sickle cell disease, genetic conditions, cancer, etc.) are at greater risk for complications due to a COVID-19 infection. Vaccination has additional benefits for these children, and parents should discuss vaccination with their child’s physician.
  • For households with immunocompromised older children or adults, decreasing the infection rate for any family member helps protect everyone.
  • Under current CDC guidance, anyone who is up to date on vaccinations are exempt from quarantine in daycare and school settings.
  • It is very likely that children in this age range will require a booster dose several months after their initial vaccination series to optimize longer term protection. Even though Pfizer’s initial series is 3 doses, many national experts have expressed opinions that an additional dose will be needed. Both Pfizer and Moderna are beginning booster trials, so more information will be available in late 2022 or early 2023.

Infants and Pregnant Women

  • The best way to protect newborns is for women to receive vaccination while pregnant. Multiple studies have proven that maternal antibodies produced as a result of vaccination cross the placenta and provide protection to newborns. This protection continues for months after the baby is born. 
  • Women who are pregnant are at increased risk of severe illness with COVID-19, as well as premature birth and other possible infant health issues. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/pregnancy-and-covid-19/art-20482639

COVID-19 Disinformation

  • Rumors that mRNA vaccines alter a person’s genes are completely FALSE. The mRNA in vaccines cannot interact with our DNA. Rumors of genetic alteration have absolutely no scientific basis.
  • Rumors that mRNA vaccines alter human reproduction are completely FALSE. Not only is there no plausible mechanism for mRNA vaccines to impact any part of reproduction in either females or males, 2 years of follow up studies have documented that people receiving mRNA vaccines are just as likely to have healthy pregnancies as those who are not vaccinated. mRNA vaccines also have no impact on a teen’s normal transition through puberty.
  • Rumors that previous infection with COVID-19 provide protection against future COVID-19 (natural immunity) that is equal or better than protection provided by vaccination is FALSE. Multiple studies in the U.S. and other countries have clearly established that vaccination produces better and longer lasting protection against infection than natural immunity from a previous infection. For children under age 5 who have been previously infected with COVID-19, studies show vaccination increases antibody levels 40-50 times higher than previously infected children who remain unvaccinated.
  • Statements that scientists and physicians don’t understand the way in which mRNA vaccines work in the human body are FALSE. Although COVID-19 vaccines are the first widely used mRNA vaccines, research on the development of these vaccines began over 30 years ago. 

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