The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) launched a statewide campaign to vaccinate children as young as 6 months old on June 22nd after the FDA authorized vaccines for these children.
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Last month, the FDA authorized emergency use of 2 vaccines for this age group, the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.
The FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Moderna’s mRNA vaccine to include individuals 6 months through 17 years of age. It had been authorized for use in adults 18 years of age and older. The EUA was amended to include children 6 months through 4 years of age for the Pfizer vaccine, which had previously been authorized for use in individuals 5 years of age and older.
CDPHE is coordinating efforts with Children’s Hospital Colorado to administer shots to children aged 6 months through 5 years through mobile clinics across the state, including in the Denver Metro Area and Colorado Springs.
Experts are advising families with young children not to wait by highlighting the importance of protecting them ahead of the upcoming school year.
“There’s a concerning misperception that this pandemic has not affected children,” Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, an infectious disease specialist at Children’s Colorado and member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “However, many children have become critically ill with COVID, and—tragically—some have died. In fact, we know that annual pediatric deaths from COVID-19 have been higher than what we expect from the flu each year. The disease can be profoundly serious, and we are fortunate that we now can protect kids of all ages from severe COVID-19.”
Public health officials are advising residents who are immunocompromised to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination and get an additional dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer as soon as guidance recommends.