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Parents Urged to Get Children Under 5 Vaccinated Against COVID-19

In the Community: From Common Ground Health

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Vaccines now authorized for children as young as six months.

County public health directors and a local pediatrician are encouraging parents to get their young children vaccinated. Their advice follows CDC recommendations to vaccinate children 6 months and older against COVID-19.

“As a pediatrician and a parent, I am excited that I can offer the COVID vaccines to young children who have not been eligible until now,” said Steven Schulz, M.D., pediatrician at Finger Lakes Medical Associates (FLMA) in Geneva and Rochester Regional Health PCASI Pediatric Medical Director for Monroe County and FLMA. “Parents can be confident that these vaccines are safe and that they are the best defense against their young children becoming seriously ill or hospitalized from this disease. I have such faith in the vaccines’ safety that my own 10-year-old son has been vaccinated.”

On June 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for young children.

  • The CDC recommended use of a three-dose version of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children from six months to age 5. Pfizer’s vaccine was previously approved for children 5 and older. Preliminary testing data showed that Pfizer’s vaccine had an effectiveness rate against serious illness or hospitalization of approximately 80%.
  • The CDC recommended use of a two-dose version of the Moderna vaccine for children from six months to young adults up to age 18. Previously, Moderna’s vaccine was authorized only for people 18 and older. The company has reported testing data showing a 43.7% effectiveness rate against serious illness or hospitalization in children 6 months to 2 years and a 37.5% effectiveness rate among 2- to 6-year-old children.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to vaccinate my son against COVID,” said Becca Gerould of Livonia, Livingston County. “The last few years have been a very scary time being pregnant and then becoming a first-time parent during a pandemic. There have been many quarantines and unknowns in our household that have caused a lot of stress. I’m thankful to be able to finally vaccinate my son to provide him with a layer of protection.”

Parents who have questions about the vaccines can contact their pediatrician or they can get more information at www.GetYourAnswers.org and the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Hub.

Common Ground Health was founded in 1974, Common Ground is the health research and planning organization for the Rochester-Finger Lakes region. We bring together leaders from health care, education, business, government and other sectors to find common ground on health challenges.

Learn more at www.commongroundhealth.org.