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BPHC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Ages Six Months and Older

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today announced it is recommending that all Boston children and infants ages 6-months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.

BPHC’s recommendation follows recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending COVID-19 vaccines. 

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which consists of three pediatric doses, is available for children ages 6-months to 5-years old. The Moderna mRNA vaccine, consisting of two pediatric doses, is available for those ages 6-months to 5-years old. COVID-19 vaccines are already available to those ages 5 and up. Ensuring your child is up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations is the most effective way to keep them safe at summer camps, family outings, and other in person gatherings. 

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, parents will be able to find clinics and make appointments at the state’s Vax Finder website. Parents who prefer to have their child vaccinated by their pediatrician should call their provider’s office directly. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and no insurance or ID is required. 

“Many parents and caregivers have been anxiously awaiting approval of COVID-19 vaccination for the under 5 age group after two very difficult years of worrying about the health and safety of their children,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Some parents may be uncertain about getting their child vaccinated because there is so much information to consider. The vaccines are safe and protective against serious illness in this age group. Parents with questions or concerns should talk to their child’s pediatrician to get the facts about the vaccine.”    

Of all the mitigation and prevention measures, COVID-19 vaccines provide the most protection against the virus across all age groups. The FDA’s evaluation and analysis of the safety, effectiveness and manufacturing of these vaccines for this age group was rigorous and comprehensive. The vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe infection that can result in hospitalization and death. Although COVID-19 is often milder in children, children can become seriously ill. They can also transmit COVID-19 to family members who may be at greater risk for severe illness or death.  

BPHC also remains concerned about the significant racial disparities in child vaccination uptake. Currently, only 27% of Black children ages 5-11 and 34% of Latinx children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated, as compared to 71% of white children in the same age range. BPHC will continue to work closely with community partners to ensure vaccines and information are accessible as these new pediatric doses roll out, and support the state and providers in offering vaccines to this new age group.  

For more information about these vaccines, please refer to the CDC and DPH websites. 

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