Connecticut begins rolling out COVID vaccines for kids under 5 years old
Starting Monday, children under 5 years old can finally get a COVID vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off over the weekend. Connecticut ordered more than 26,000 doses and is ready to administer the shots immediately.
Many families are eager to get their youngest kids vaccinated.
"There are some parents who have been asking, like, almost daily,” said Dr. Magna Dias, the pediatrics chair at Bridgeport Hospital. "I think parents have a lot of questions, right? So, there's a lot of stuff that's out there on social media and just in terms of the mommy groups."
Dias says Bridgeport Hospital will start administering the shots this week. Some pediatricians may already have doses available today, although the state’s official shipment is still on the way.
If your child doesn't have a doctor, the vaccine will come to you. Yale New Haven Health is holding a clinic Thursday in Greenwich, with more to be announced soon. The appointment portal opens up tomorrow. And starting Tuesday, the Department of Public Health is also rolling out its mobile “yellow vans” across the state. See a schedule here.
Children as young as 6 months old can now get a COVID vaccine.
Parents have two options.
o Two doses
o Four weeks apart
o Three doses
o Second dose: three weeks after initial one
o Third dose: at least two months later
Connecticut's public health commissioner, Dr. Manisha Juthani, says each option has its own advantages and drawbacks.
“The Pfizer vaccine is higher, but it is three shots,” she said. "I've heard from a number of different families -- some of whom were preferring Moderna to have their child fully vaccinated before the school year starts."
Whichever vaccine you pick, there's plenty to go around. More than 400 pediatricians across the state are administering it. You can also get it at some pharmacies.
News 12 asked Juthani if it’s safe to combine a COVID vaccine with other childhood immunizations.
"Vaccines have been able to be administered with other vaccines -- COVID vaccines and other vaccines,” she said. “So, I would just double-check with your own pediatrician as to what they recommend for your child."
But many parents are wondering if children under 5 even need a COVID vaccine, since they suffer far fewer cases of serious illness.
Dias says yes.
"Almost 450 kids, since the pandemic has begun, have died who are under age 4,” she said. "We also saw with Omicron, a significant number of kids getting hospitalized for COVID."
In Connecticut, COVID vaccinations are lagging among children ages 5-11. More than seven months after they were first approved, only 48% of eligible kids have gotten at least one dose.