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Vaccination against COVID-19 in children under 5 years of age will reinforce community-wide protection

COVID-19 vaccine in children under 5 years of age

In previous days, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the decision to give the green light to the COVID-19 vaccine in children under 5 years of age, starting at six months of age, from Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech Pharmaceuticals, which will strengthen the protection of the entire community against the disease that has claimed millions of lives worldwide.

This was pointed out by doctors and experts in the field, who in a session with the media carried out by Ethnic Media Services explained that although some parents are enthusiastic about the news, others still have doubts because they do not know much of the information about the vaccine.

"Vaccinating our children helps all of us: it protects older adults in the community, those who cannot be vaccinated, those whose immune systems are compromised and the rest of the community," said Jennifer Miller, a pediatrician at East Bay Pediatrics.

The vaccine against COVID-19 not only protects the communities, but also allows that, in case of acquiring the disease, the complications are less severe, thus reducing the possibilities of being hospitalized, having multisystemic inflammatory syndrome and even death.

The director of the California Department of Public Health, Lucia Abascal, recommended taking children to be vaccinated, because in addition to reducing complications from COVID-19, the action also allows achieving immunity at the community level, in addition to the fact that vaccines work better against new variants compared to natural immunity.

For her part, obstetrician gynecologist and mother Sarah Takekahua, does not see the time to vaccinate to receive their doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 and thereby protect the whole family, however, before a new wave of the disease and be positive to an antigen test will have to wait a few days.

On the other hand, she mentioned that her daughters, who are under 5 years old, are excited to receive the inoculation. "We teach our children that they are not only protecting themselves, but that they can protect the community."

"Maybe I have only one perspective, but as a mother of young children and also as a doctor, we have chosen to send our daughter to a kindergarten where there are mandates for the vaccine, so she can focus solely on her education and not worry about who has the mask or not and feel safe," Takekahua said.

What you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine in children under 5 years of age.

Which vaccine to choose and why? Which is safer or more effective? These are some of the questions parents ask when they receive the news of the approval of inoculation for children under 5 years of age; however, the Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines are both safe and effective, although they have some differences, experts said.

The dosage of the Pfizer vaccine is lower than that of Moderna, however, there is no difference between the side effects of the two vaccines, and the CDC recommends both vaccines equally.

Regarding the doses of both vaccines, Moderna's vaccine will have two doses with a space of one month between each one; however, it is expected to have a booster. On the other hand, the Pfizer vaccine will have three administrations with a space of 21 days for the second dose and 60 days for the third.

A life decision

The 6 months to 5 years age group has been the last to be approved to receive the COVID-19 inoculation and despite having waited almost a year and a half for this to happen, some parents are still hesitant to give the inoculation to their children, however, Jennifer Miller commented that "children and adolescents need to get their lives back".

Since the beginning of the pandemic, people's way of life has changed drastically and although activities have been gradually resuming, there are children who only know half of their classmates' faces due to the use of masks, and there are even those whose mental health has been compromised due to the sudden changes brought about by COVID-19.

Where to get the vaccine in California

Approximately 2.2 million children under 5 years of age in California will be eligible for the vaccine and there are more than eight and a half thousand providers who are part of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Health authorities have recommended that parents go to their pediatricians - if they have medical services - to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, however, information on vaccine providers can also be obtained at https://myturn.ca.gov/.

You may be interested in: San Mateo County prepares COVID-19 vaccination for children under 5 years old

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