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5MinuteConsult Journal Club

Covid Vaccines for Children


Study Summary

The much-awaited FDA authorization of COVID-19 vaccinations for children has added a new weapon to fighting the pandemic. The CDC has recommended Moderna’s two-dose series (25 g per dose) for children aged 6 months through 5 years and Pfizer-BioNTech’s three-dose series (3 g per dose) for children aged 6 months to 4 years. To date, there have been over 300,000 children under age 5 years hospitalized with COVID-19 and over 400 deaths, with most of those in children without pre-existing conditions.


Moderna requires only two doses and would be completed in a month. The Pfizer vaccine requires three doses, and would take potentially up to almost 3 months to complete the series.

Adverse reactions

Moderna had higher rates of fever, local pain, fatigue, headache/irritability and sleep disturbances. The Pfizer vaccine was associated with lower rates of local reactions and fever compared with the placebo, but dosage requires all 3 doses to be effective.

Parent Counseling points

--The Moderna vaccine lowered the risk of serious infection by 50.6% for infants 6-23 months old and 36.8% effective for 2 to 5 years old vs. Pfizer which lowered the risk (after 3 doses) by 80%.

--Vaccination will lower the risk for children becoming ill

--Prevent children from missing school

--Lower the risk they spread the infection to those at greatest risk

--There were no heart risks (myocarditis or pericarditis) with vaccination in this age group. For those over 5 years, the data as of June, 2022 found for those aged 5-11 years: 20 reported cases of myocarditis after 19,319,400 doses administered. Having COVID-19 infection has caused 150 cases of myocarditis/100,000 COVID-19 infections

--Both vaccinations will likely require boosters in future months.

More from 5MinuteConsult

Vaccines Adverse Events, Pediatric

Contributed by Frank J. Domino, July 20, 2022