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PEDIATRIC COVID-19 VACCINE

On November 2, 2021 CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible. 

Though most children do not get nearly as sick from Covid as adults, they are still affected by the disease. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 1.9 million Covid cases, more than 8,300 hospitalizations and 94 deaths due to Covid among children ages 5 to 11 in the United States.

Vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm. 

In clinical trials, myocarditis and/or pericarditis have occurred rarely in some people following receipt of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, typically within a few days following receipt of the second dose. This risk is highest in males ages 12-29 years of age. This risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after receipt of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is lower than the risk of myocarditis associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in adolescents and adults.

Data from clinical trials in children 5-11 years old indicate that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be given safely to those with evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Growing epidemiologic evidence from adults and adolescents indicates that vaccination following infection increases protection from subsequent infections, including in the setting of highly infectious variants such as Delta.

Proof of age should be requested but is not required where the parent or guardian is available to attest to the minor’s age.

Documentary proof may include (but is not limited to):

• Driver’s license or non-driver ID

• Birth certificate issued by a state or local government

• Consulate ID

• Current U.S passport or valid foreign passport

• Permanent resident card

• Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship

• Life insurance policy with birthdate

• Parent/Guardian attestation 

Minor Consent

5 through 15-year olds: For minors who are 5 through 15 years of age, additionally, an adult caregiver should accompany the minor. If the adult caregiver is not the parent/guardian, the adult caregiver should be designated by the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian must still provide consent to the vaccination.

*Due to space restrictions, please only have one adult parent/caregiver/guardian accompany the child to the appointment.*

16 and 17-year olds: For all minors, a parent or legal guardian must provide consent for vaccination. For minors 16 or 17 years of age, such consent should be provided either in person or by phone, at the time of vaccine appointment. Providers may elect whether to accept a written statement of consent from the parent or guardian, where the parent or guardian is not available by phone to provide consent to vaccinate an unaccompanied minor. The NYS COVID-19 Immunization Screening and Consent Form may be considered for this purpose.

For more information, visit http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=16074&format=pdf.

 

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