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Children under the age of 5 can finally be vaccinated with the Covid-19 vaccine. What should parents consider?

(CNN)Parents of children under the age of 5 can finally vaccinate their children with the coronavirus vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration and the US Center for Disease Control and Preventionare giving a green lightto both the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine for young children. Currently, anyone over 6 months is eligible for vaccination.

A health care worker gives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine last week to a 3-year-old at the Brooklyn Children's Museum in New York City.
A health care worker gives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine last week to a 3-year-old at the Brooklyn Children's Museum in New York City.

Healthcare workers gave the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to 3-last week. rice field. 1 year old at the Brooklyn Children's Museum in New York City.

Where can parents go to get vaccines for their children? Which one should I choose? What side effects are expected and how should they be treated? Can the Covid-19 vaccine be given with other pediatric immunity? And how long should kids who just had Covid-19 wait before being shot?

To answer these questions, I talk to Dr. Linawen, a medical analyst at CNN, an emergency doctor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, and a professor of health policy and management. did. She is also the author of "Lifeline: A Doctor's Journey in the Battle for Public Health" and is the mother of two children under the age of five.

The next conversation is length and clarity.

CNN: Let's start with the family. You are 4 and 2 years old. Are you still vaccinated?

Dr. Lina Wen:Yes. As soon as the FDA approved the vaccine, she called the pediatrician's officeand told her she wanted her child to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The earliest appointment was last Monday, about a week after children in the 6-month to 5-year-old age group first started taking pictures.

CNN: How was it?

Wen:It was no different from booking other vaccines. My children are accustomed to immunizing their children. They entered the office. I checked in and signed some forms, and they got their shots from the nurse. There were no tears. Both kids were very excited about their colorful band-aid.

On the other hand, I became quite emotional. My daughter was born in April 2020. The pandemic was just beginning, little was known, and our lives were full of horror. My son has caused a great deal of confusion in his life because of Covid-19, including school closures and the inability to play dates.

Our family has been waiting for this moment for a very long time. It's been a long time since adults started vaccination for more than a year and a half. My kids are now very relieved that they can get the same level of extraordinary protection that anyone over the age of 5 can do.

CNN: Which vaccine did you choose?

Wen:My children were vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. That's what our pediatrician's office currently has.

I understand why parents with choices make either decision. The Moderna vaccine is two doses compared to three doses of Pfizer, and many parents may prefer to redo the entire series quickly. The Pfizer vaccine has been inoculated to people over the age of 5 since November last year. Preliminary research has also shown that Pfizer may have mild side effects due to its low dose. Some parents may prefer it because it has a long track record and may have few side effects. Both vaccines are safe and effective, and I think many parents will do the same as I do and choose the one that is most convenient.

CNN: Where should parents get the vaccine if the pediatrician's clinic does not provide the vaccine?

Wen:I still call the pediatrician's office for advice. They may have a list of local pharmacies to inoculate young children. Check in advance as most pharmacies are likely not equipped to vaccinate very young children. Therefore, it is important to know in advance which one will be vaccinated. When making a call, please tell us the exact age of your child. Some pharmacies may adopt additional age limits, such as vaccinations, only for people over the age of three. The

federal websitewww.vaccines.govis also a great resource. You may also consider calling your local city or state health department, as there may be a temporary vaccine clinic.

CNN: What side effects are expected and what can parents use to treat their children?

Wen:The types of side effectsare similar to those found in many other routine pediatric immunity. Children can have arm pain and redness at the injection site. They may have a fever or be noisy and grumpy. These symptoms are generally mild and resolve in a day or two. Many kids have no side effects-my kids didn't.

CDC does not recommend premedication. This means that children should not be given Tylenol or ibuprofen prior to vaccination in anticipation of possible side effects. However, if your child has a fever, you should ensure that you are given a dose of Tylenol or ibuprofen that is appropriate for your age and weight.

CNN: Can the Covid-19 vaccine be given with other pediatric immunity?

Wen:Yes, the CDC states that the Covid-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as other pediatric immunizations. A different injection site will be used. For example, Covid-19 is shot with one leg and another vaccine is shot with the other leg.

It is very important that children have the latest information on other immunizations in order to prevent other infectious diseases. Always check with your pediatrician to see if you have any plans for other shots.

CNN: Parents need to choose a specific day of the week to vaccinate.

Wen:Most children will not have such serious symptoms that they will not be able to go to school. However, understand that you may feel moody or tired and plan for the day after vaccination. Do you have a preliminary parenting plan if they need to be at home from school?

CNN: How long does a child just infected with Covid-19 have to wait before being fired?

Wen:The CDC says that it is okay to vaccinate after the symptoms have disappeared and the post-infection quarantine period has expired. I am saying. Authorities also say it may be wise to wait three months after the recent infection.

I think this is good advice. Recovery from recent infections provides some protection for about 2-3 months. I think it makes sense to wait a few months after a recent infection before starting a vaccine series, but infection alone does not provide as strong and long-term protection as hybrid immunity from infection and vaccination. be careful. The CDC recommends that children be vaccinated even if they are infected.

CNN: I'm not sure, what about parents who want to wait and see?

Wen:All parents and guardians want to do their best for their children. Many parents are very enthusiastic about vaccination of their children. I'm definitely in the camp and I'm with a lot of doctor moms I know.

Other parents may want to wait and see the experience of the person who wants to go first. I encourage families on the fence to talk to their pediatricians and also recommend consulting with trusted professional organizations such as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.