ASK MISS RONA: COVID-19 Vaccine For Babies and Young Children

Ask Miss Rona is a Q&A series started on Public Health’s Instagram to respond to community questions related to different topic areas of COVID-19. Questions come in from the public and are answered by subject matter experts at Public Health. Check out our Instagram at @kcpubhealth for more of our Miss Rona content.

How long should children wait to get a COVID-19 booster after testing positive for COVID?

Wait until the child no longer needs to be in isolation and doesn’t have symptoms. Given the high risk of infection right now, it is best to get them boosted as soon as they become eligible. All children age 5 and older should get a COVID-19 booster dose at least 5 months after their 2nd dose of Pfizer or Moderna to be fully protected.

NOTE: Immune-compromised children should get a booster dose at least 3 months after their 3rd dose of Pfizer or Moderna.

For more information about COVID-19 boosters, check out what do I need to know about booster shots?

Does the vaccine for younger children need 2 weeks after getting the last shot to be effective?

The initial (or primary) vaccination series for children under 5 is complete after the 3rd dose of Pfizer or 2nd dose of Moderna. While some protection may begin sooner, yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are most effective 2 weeks after the final dose in the initial series. 

Why can’t I find Moderna shots for babies and children under 5 anywhere?

The Public Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Auburn and Bellevue offer Moderna and Pfizer for children 6 months of age and older.

For more information, go to:

Are kids eligible for a 2nd COVID-19 booster?

Only kids age 12 and older who are moderately to severely immune-compromised can get a 2nd booster dose. (But, all children age 5 and older should get a 1st booster dose 5 months after their 2nd dose of Pfizer or Moderna.)

See more information about Vaccines for Immunocompromised People on the COVID-19 vaccine page.

How far apart does the under 5 age group receive the 3-part Pfizer vaccine series?

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is given to children ages 6 months to 4 years old in 3 parts. The first 2 doses are given 3 weeks apart. The 3rd dose is given at least 2 months after the 2nd dose.

NOTE: Moderately to severely immune-compromised children, ages 6 months to 4 years old, who get Moderna will also need a 3rd dose for their primary series.  The 3rd dose is given 4 weeks after the 2nd dose.

Is outdoor swimming too risky? My 9-month-old is getting their 2nd Pfizer dose soon, but I’m worried.

Swimming in water isn’t a known way that COVID spreads. But, children could be exposed if they’re in close contact with others (such as being near people in the pool or poolside). Vaccination will help protect them when they’re around others.

Have they seen myocarditis as a side effect in the pediatric vaccine?

Myocarditis hasn’t been linked to the COVID vaccine for children under age 5. In the clinical studies involving thousands of children, there were no reported cases in children under 5 for either Moderna or Pfizer. 

A large national study found that children ages 5-11 are much more likely to get myocarditis if they get sick with COVID than from a vaccination.

How long after COVID infection should an infant wait to get the vaccine? Are side effects more intense?

An infant that has been sick with COVID should wait until the isolation period is over and the symptoms are gone to get vaccinated. The clinical studies found that infants and young children tend to have milder side effects, similar to when they get other routine vaccines. Common side effects are fatigue, achiness, and soreness where they got vaccinated. They might get a fever or nausea.

Thanks for your questions! More information about children and COVID vaccine:

Originally published on July 18, 2022