June 21, 2022 – Shots are starting to go into arms this week for the youngest group approved for COVID-19 vaccines – those 6 months to 5 years old. Now, many parents are faced with the question of not only when to vaccinate their kids, but also: Is one version of the vaccine preferred over the other?
This past weekend, the CDC signed off on the shots for the youngest group after the FDA authorized the vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna on June 17. In some parts of the country, vaccinations began Monday.
But some parents are still on the fence about vaccinating their youngest children and may not be rushing to the pediatrician‘s office just yet.
In an April poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which looked ahead to the potential approval of the Moderna vaccine for young children, just 18% of parents said they would get their young children vaccinated right after approval; 27% said they definitely wouldn’t; and 38% said they would wait for others to go first.
But most experts and officials are aligned behind the advice that these vaccines are important for all children. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association have put out statements endorsing the vaccines.
How to Compare
For parents who want their children first in line to be vaccinated this week, there will be a choice between the Moderna and Pfizer shots. Many will go with convenience and accept whichever vaccine is offered at their location. But many may still have questions whether one is preferred over another.
Here is a comparison.
The two vaccines have different formulations, dose scheduling, and side effects. For starters, Moderna’s version is two shots and Pfizer’s is three.
Some prominent experts, including epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina, PhD, and parenting author and economist