The FDA and CDC approved two vaccines for Covid for children under 5 this past weekend, the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines. We at Princeton Nassau Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend all eligible children 6 months and over receive a Covid vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine for this age range is a 3 dose series (2nd dose 3 weeks later, 3rd dose 2 months later) and the Moderna vaccine is a two dose series (2nd dose 1 month later). Both vaccines use a much smaller dose than used in older children or adults, and both showed similar antibody responses to adults. Neither vaccine showed any significant safety concerns in the trials.
PNP will be receiving the Pfizer Covid vaccine for this age range next week and will be holding a clinic in our Princeton office Tuesday June 28th through Friday July 1st, from 9am to 4pm, by appointment only. Patients who receive this vaccine in our office will have a 2nd dose scheduled at the same time 3 weeks later and then we will contact you for scheduling the 3rd dose 2 months after that.
We will not have the Moderna Covid vaccine during that week, nor the Pfizer vaccine for any other ages. Patients who wish to receive those vaccines can do so at a local pharmacy or can use the NJ Covid Vaccine appointment finder: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/finder
We will have a 2nd vaccine clinic the week of July 12th, if necessary. At this time we are unsure if we will have the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine for that clinic.
Please remember, this clinic is only for PNP patients 6 months to 4 years of age. The Pfizer vaccine is a lower dose for this age group than for patients 5 years and older and comes in a different vial. We are unable to vaccinate anyone who is not in the 6 months to 4-year age bracket at this time. Please do not schedule an appointment for a child 5 years or older as the appointment will be canceled.
Please make sure you follow ALL of the steps below:
1.) In order to schedule an appointment, DO NOT CALL OUR OFFICES, you MUST use our sign-up genius:
This will ensure that our phones remain open to help patients in need and prevent any double bookings of appointments.
2.) Click on the link, fill out your information completely, including a phone number which can receive text messages and pick your appointment time from what is available. You will automatically be scheduled for the same time 3 weeks exactly from your appointment for your second dose.
3.) Print out the CDC’s questionnaire to be filled out prior to your appointment. The link is on the sign-up genius, but here it is as well:
This MUST be filled out and brought with you to your appointment. Bring your insurance card to the appointment, too.
4.) If you are scheduling multiple children, you must make separate appointments for each person, and fill out separate questionnaires for each.
5.) It is very important that you are on time for your appointment as we are trying to get as many patients in as possible. Please plan to arrive 5 minutes before your appointment time to complete our registration process. When you arrive, please walk into the center of the shopping center and come to the back door of the PNP Princeton office. We will have a line forming outside the office.
6.) You will be recommended to wait a minimum of 15 minutes after vaccination for observation and in certain situations, you may need to wait 30 minutes (if there’s any history of anaphylaxis). Please consider this when booking your appointment time.
Covid-19 Vaccine FAQs and Commonly asked questions:
1) Can I sign myself up as well as my child? NO, this is only for children ages 6 mo -4 years.
2) Can I call for an appointment or do I need to use the link? No, you must use the sign-up genius link. Our staff will not be able to sign patients up.
4) My child had other vaccines 3 days ago. Can they still get their vaccine? Yes, there is no need to space out the covid vaccine from other immunizations.
5) Will I have a choice of which vaccine product to receive? No, we will only have the Pfizer vaccine.
6) I have an appointment with my child’s doctor next week. Can I just get the covid vaccine then? No, we can only administer the Covid vaccine at one of the scheduled clinics. Once we open a vial, we only have limited time to use the doses, which necessitates providing the vaccine in a clinic format.
7) Will this be the same exact vaccine and dose as the one for kids 5 years and up? Not exactly. It is the same Pfizer vaccine, but a smaller dose (3 mcg vs 10mcg for 5-11 year old children and 30 mcg for children 12 and older).
8.) What happens if my child turns 5 between their 1st and 2nd dose or between the 2nd and 3rd dose? The updated CDC guidance has now recommended that patients who turn 5 before completing their Covid vaccine series receive the Covid vaccine for 5-11 years olds (a different dose/vial) once they turn 5. For patients, who are in this category, we recommend waiting until you turn 5 and receiving the Covid vaccine at a local pharmacy. If your child will turn 5 between the 2nd and 3rd dose (birthday between mid July to mid September of 2017) and you would like to receive the 1st two doses at PNP, you may do so and then can go to a pharmacy for the 3rd dose of the series to receive the > 5 dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
9.) Is this vaccine dose based on weight? No, the vaccine dose is based on age, as the immune response is much more dependent upon the age than the weight of the child.
10) I thought kids don’t get sick from Covid. Isn’t this overkill for a mild disease?
Most healthy children have a mild illness with Covid, it’s true. However, knowing that children will likely get this disease if unvaccinated, a small percentage of these children will get very sick, adding up to a lot of unnecessary hospitalizations and deaths. As of this email, approximately 700 children in the US have died from Covid. It is important to remember that many of these children were healthy, and did not have underlying medical conditions. That is more pediatric deaths than we see from the flu every year and our goal remains to prevent that at all costs.
11.) I’m not that worried about the disease, are there other reasons I should consider vaccinating my child? Of course. There are a few other reasons to consider
· The public health benefit – As long as this virus can infect people, it will do so and therefore will keep spreading. The more people that are vaccinated, the less likely the chance the virus will find someone to infect and the more likely we will be to see our community cases decreasing. That helps everyone, especially our highest risk community members and it decreases the chance of further mutations.
· The family benefit– when a child gets Covid, it puts those in the household at much higher risk when they bring the virus into the home, potentially exposing high risk older family members.
· The school/daycare benefit– fully vaccinated children do not need to quarantine if exposed to Covid-19 in school/daycare. Additionally, the larger the % of children in a school/daycare that are vaccinated, the more likely the school will be able to begin to relax some of its mitigation strategies.
We hope this information helps you and can’t wait to begin vaccinating our children ages 6 months – 4 years.