WRNMMC, Bethesda, MD –
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is now offering the Pfizer-BioNTech three-dose primary series vaccine for children aged six months to four years. The move comes after a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to expand COVID-19 vaccination to children younger than five years of age.
This Pfizer-BioNTech dose series is different from the one for beneficiaries aged five years and older. The first and second doses are separated by 21 days, while the second and third doses are separated by eight weeks.
“This decision now universally recommends COVID-19 vaccination for everyone six months and older, paving the way for about 20 million children in this age group to get vaccinated and allowing providers to begin vaccinating with either the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as soon as possible,” CDC Director Rochelle Wilensky said.
According to the CDC, vaccinating children under five can reduce severe COVID-related illnesses that can lead to hospitalization, and can be a critical step in preventing COVID-19 infections for all children under five, especially those who are immune-compromised. COVID-19 vaccinations among younger children can also help decrease the strain on the health-care system and provide better protection for children as they attend school and participate in other group activities.
The CDC also said there is no way to predict if a child will develop a severe or mild case of COVID-19. Even healthy children without underlying medical conditions can get severe COVID-19 or suffer from long-term health complications, according to a WRNMMC’s information leaflet on the new vaccination drive.
The following are key points regarding pediatric COVID-19 vaccines administered at WRNMMC:
- Parents or guardians must accompany any person under the age of 18 to the vaccine clinic and must sign the COVID-19 vaccine consent form.
- Both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for children ages six months to four years, but WRNMMC is currently only offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is provided as a three-dose primary series
- Vaccinating everyone, including children 6 months and older, provides the best defense against serious outcomes related to COVID-19.
Visit the following link for more information on WRNMMC’s COVID-19 vaccines: walterreed.tricare.mil/CVAX
You can also visit the following CDC sites for more information on pediatric COVID-19 vaccines: