Nov 1, 2021 - COVID

Your pediatric vaccine questions, answered

Someone wearing gloves fills up a vaccine syringe

Photo: Saman Abesiriwardana/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

If you’re a parent or guardian, you might have some questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids after the FDA authorized its use.

We emailed Dr. Bernhard Wiedermann, the infectious diseases specialist and principal investigator of the Pfizer COVID vaccine trial at Children’s National Hospital, to answer some of them.

The dosage for kids ages 5-11 is one-third that of 12 years and older. Is it worth waiting for an 11-year-old to turn 12 before vaccinating?

  • “It’s a minor difference,” says Wiedermann, noting that both dose levels are shown to be effective. It’s an individual decision, but you might not want to wait to vaccinate if your child has underlying health conditions or is around people with compromised immune systems.
  • Dr. Claire Boogaard, medical director of Children's National Hospital's COVID-19 vaccine program, recently told Axios Today that parents shouldn't wait for their kids to turn 12 to vaccinate. Instead, they should get their kids protected as soon as possible.

What should parents of high-risk kids know?

  • High-risk kids, and their households, should be vaccine priorities, Wiedermann says. More detailed recommendations on how and when to vaccinate high-risk kids will likely come from tomorrow's CDC vaccine advisor meeting.

What about kids under the age of 5?

  • Pfizer has not yet submitted data on its clinical trials for children under the age of 5 to the FDA. Kids under the age of 5 in this clinical trial are receiving an even smaller dose than children over the age of 5.
  • The company says it expects to have clinical trial results for kids younger than 2 and kids from ages 2-5 as soon as the end of this year or early next year.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more