New: Children and COVID-19 vaccines
What are the current recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination for children?
On June 18, 2022, CDC authorized Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children as young as six months old. The authorization will add young children age 6 months through 4 years old to those eligible to get a Pfizer vaccine, and children and adolescents age 6 months through 17 years old to get a Moderna vaccine.
LCPH does NOT have plans for vaccination clinics for children ages 6 months through 4 years old at this time. Please watch our social media and COVID-19 Hub for information.
The dose and series authorized for children is informed by clinical trials on safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine in these age groups.
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization
- Children age 6 months through 4 years old receive a three-shot series, with two doses spaced three weeks apart and followed by a third at least two months later. The dosage is one-tenth the adult dosage.
- Children age 5 to 11 receive a two-shot series spaced three weeks apart. The dosage is one-third the adult dosage. This age group should get a booster dose at least five months after their second shot.
- Children age 12 to 17 receive a two-shot series spaced three weeks apart. The dosage is the same as the adult dosage. This age group should get a booster dose at least five months after their second shot.
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization
- Children age 6 months through 5 years old receive a two-shot series, with two doses spaced four weeks apart. The dosage is half the adult dosage.
- Children age 6 to 17 receive a two-shot series, with two doses spaced four weeks apart. The dosage is the same as the dosage for adults.
Why did it take so long for the FDA to make a decision about vaccines for children under 5?
All the COVID-19 vaccines have undergone a rigorous review process before being authorized for a given age group. The FDA’s evaluation of vaccines for young kids has been part of this overall thorough review process. Clinical trials were not started in children until after the trials in adults showed safety and efficacy of the vaccines. Additionally, part of what made the review process longer for young kids is that experts were determining what dosage and series would be safe and effective for children under five. After reviewing initial data on the effectiveness of the vaccine in young kids, the FDA waited to receive additional findings from clinical trials to ensure that its recommendation was based on a substantial amount of clinical data.
Why should children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Medical and public health experts, including the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children and adolescents age 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect them from contracting and spreading the virus.
The vaccine is the best way to protect children from becoming severely ill or having long-lasting health impacts due to COVID-19. COVID-19 has become one of the top 10 causes of pediatric death, and tens of thousands of children and teens have been hospitalized with COVID-19. While children and adolescents are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, it is still possible.
Another important reason for children to get the COVID-19 vaccine is to protect their friends, family, and the broader community from the spread of the virus. As vaccination rates increase, the lower the chances that the coronavirus will mutate into dangerous variants.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?
Yes. Keeping children safe and healthy is top of mind for parents, and scientists have worked to ensure the vaccine is safe for children ages 5-17. Before being authorized for children, scientists and medical experts completed their review of safety and effectiveness data from clinical trials of thousands of children. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was rigorously tested and reviewed, and more than 11 million adolescents ages 12-17 have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. As of November 2, the Pfizer vaccine is also authorized for children ages 5-11.
Data from trials will continue to be collected for two years after each vaccine is first administered to ensure that they are safe for the long term. As with all vaccines, there will be ongoing monitoring among people who are vaccinated.
COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
New: Second Booster Dose Information
The CDC has updated their recommendations to allow people over the age of 50, and some immunocompromised individuals, to receive a second booster dose at least four months following their first booster of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Also, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of J&J COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago can now receive a second booster of either Pfizer or Moderna.
Our Vaccine Planning Team will be meeting soon to discuss possible vaccine clinics in the county to administer boosters. However, if you are at high risk and believe you qualify for a second booster, you are urged to discuss with your primary care physician.
For locations of vaccine providers in the county, please visit our COVID-19 Hub.
To suggest a question to be answered, please email healthinfo(at)lccountymt.gov.
Please note: As this is an ongoing pandemic, items on this FAQ are subject to change and may not be updated with newer information immediately. These answers are not meant to diagnosis or treat COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms, see your provider. If you are experiencing any life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19, including trouble breathing, persistent pressure or pain in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face coloring, seek emergency care immediately.
For the most up-to-date vaccine progress and county case counts, visit our COVID-19 Hub.
The New York Times provides COVID-19 data for all states on their COVID in the US page (no account needed).
New - updated information regarding mood disorders and booster shots.
For information on how to determine close contacts to a positive case, refer to this CDC document.
Note: This update taken directly from New York Times regarding BA.2 version of Omicron.
Is the BA.2 version of Omicron worse? Here’s what you need to know.Published 2/24/22 from https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/02/24/world/covid-19-tests-cases-vaccine/stealth-omicron-ba2-variant
With the huge Omicron surge in coronavirus cases now receding in the United States and many other countries, reports have been cropping up in many news outlets lately about a potentially worrisome new version of Omicron — a subvariant known as BA.2 — and the threats it may pose.
Here are some key things to understand about BA.2 and what we know so far.
It’s not really new.
Scientists learned soon after the Omicron variant was first detected in November that it came in three genetically distinct varieties. They focused on BA.1, because it was about 1,000 times as prevalent as BA.2 in the early going; the third subvariant was rarer still. It was BA.1 that first broke out and raced around the world, while BA.2 took longer to become significant, but both have been on scientists’ radar from the outset.
It seems to be easier to catch.
All kinds of Omicron are highly contagious, which is why Omicron swiftly crowded out earlier variants like Delta and caused an immense global surge. But preliminary studies suggest that BA.2 is even more transmissible than BA.1. It has already become the dominant form of Omicron in a few countries and is gaining ground in others. Its potentially greater transmissibility has raised some concerns that BA.2 could cause a fresh spike or could lengthen the current one, but the jury is still out on whether that is likely to happen.
It does not appear to be more severe.
A crucial feature of the Omicron surge has been that if you are infected with the variant, your odds of becoming severely ill, being hospitalized or dying are significantly lower than they were with Delta or earlier variants. The research so far, including a new study from South Africa, indicates that BA.2 is no different from BA.1 on that score.
Existing vaccines work against it.
While it is known that Omicron generally has been somewhat better than other variants at causing “breakthrough” infections of vaccinated people, the vaccines still provide substantial protection against infection and very strong protection against severe illness. Booster shots make the protection even more robust. And once again, BA.2 doesn’t seem to change any of that: British researchers recently found that vaccines were equally effective against both Omicron subvariants.
Omicron has also been somewhat better than other variants at breaking through “natural” immunity acquired from previous infections, and some concerns have been raised that BA.2 might be able to do that to people who caught BA.1 in the Omicron surge. While such reinfections have been reported, they have so far been exceedingly rare even in countries where BA.2 is now prevalent.
Its ‘stealth variant’ nickname is outdated.
BA.2 was nicknamed the “stealth variant” because initially, when the challenge for researchers was to distinguish Omicron cases from those of Delta and other variants, BA.2 did not tip off its presence in positive P.C.R. test samples the way BA.1 did, through a mutation that concealed one of the three telltale coronavirus genes that the tests detect. Now that the vast majority of positive tests involve Omicron, however, the missing mutation can make BA.2 decidedly un-stealthy, standing out from BA.1 cases in P.C.R. tests.
Scientists have discovered a new COVID-19 variant: Omicron. In a nutshell, there’s a lot that isn’t know about this new variant. Here’s what we do know, courtesy of the CDC.
Q: Is Lewis and Clark Public Health adopting the new CDC guidance for isolation and quarantine?
A: Yes. This guidance was adopted on Jan. 7, 2022 and revised in mid-January. To view this guidance, please visit our COVID-19 page.
Updated March 9, 2022.
COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Immunocompromised Individuals
The CDC recently clarified and updated recommendations for some moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals and COVID-19 booster doses.
People with immunocompromising conditions or people who take immunosuppressive medications or therapies are advised to receive a three dose primary series of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines (mRNA), and then get an mRNA booster dose at least 3 months after their third dose.
Those who received a Janssen (J&J vaccine) should get a Pfizer or Moderna second dose and then an Pfizer or Moderna booster at least two months after the second dose.
If you have any questions regarding these recommendations, please contact your primary care provider.
Please visit this CDC page for more information.