ODH Director: Covid-19 vaccines for young children will soon be available

COLUMBUS — Following news of the FDA’s approval of Covid-19 vaccines for children under the age of five, the Ohio Department Health said the state of Ohio has already begun placing orders for those vaccines and the first deliveries are expected to arrive on Monday.

>>Coronavirus: FDA panel endorses COVID-19 vaccines for young children

Doctor Bruce Vanderhoff, Director of ODH, discussed how the vaccines will be distributed to children under five-years old.

  • Pfizer- Three shot process. The second shot can be taken three weeks after the first dose and the third dosage can be taken two months after the first. The child will receive one-tenth of the amount of an adult dose
  • Moderna- Two shot process. The second dosage can be taken after the first shot. The child will receive one-fourth of the amount of an adult dose

Vanderhoff said Covid-19 is still with us and encouraged Ohioans of all ages to get vaccinated. “Whether they are young or old, the fact is, that the more Ohioans are vaccinated, the better our chances of avoiding serious illness and disruptions to our daily lives.”

Doctor Grant Paulsen, pediatrician for the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, discussed the safety and side effects of Covid-19 vaccines for kids and that the side effects for both were the same as they were for older children and adults. “The most common was pain at the side of the injection, normally mild and moderate, and resolved in a couple of days. The more systemic side effects include fatigue, irritability, and headaches on occasion. As for fever.”

Paulsen said the side effects were less common in the Pfizer vaccine and there were no new concerns of myocarditis and heart inflammation of children in the study.

Doctor Michael Forbes, chief academic officer at Akron’s Children Hospital, said the evidence is overwhelming about the benefits of vaccines and recommends people talk to their physician. “Get good advice from your provider and as many of the vaccines as possible.”

As for vaccination demand for this age group, Vanderhoff said there are parents who are eager to get their kids vaccinated and will likely do so as soon as its available. “This is a very important decision among many parents to make and want to make it thoughtfully and do it with consideration.”