While we are still in ACIP phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan in most states, that might mean that your kids can already get vaccinated and protected already.
Although with limited vaccine available still, getting your kids a dose won’t be easy.
Can I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine for My Kids?
Before you even start looking for a COVID-19 vaccine dose for your kids, you should understand that:
- the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has an EUA for those 16 years and above
- the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has an EUA for those 18 years and above
So for now, you will have to wait to get kids under age 16 years vaccinated, unless they participate in a clinical trial.
“Current evidence on which underlying medical conditions in children are associated with increased risk is limited. Children with the following conditions might be at increased risk for severe illness: obesity, medical complexity, severe genetic disorders, severe neurologic disorders, inherited metabolic disorders, sickle cell disease, congenital (since birth) heart disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, asthma and other chronic lung disease, and immunosuppression due to malignancy or immune-weakening medications.”People with Certain Medical Conditions at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
And for now, even older teens and young adults will have to wait to get vaccinated unless they are in ACIP phase 1c (confusing matters, some states have made up their own phases…) and have a medical condition that increases their risk for severe COVID-19, such as:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
- Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Other medical conditions that might put older teens and young adults at increased risk for severe COVID-19, which could be an indication to get vaccinated in phase 1c, include:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
And understand that other medical conditions that are not on these lists might also qualify. For example, while having an immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant is listed, what about all of those folks who are immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system for other reasons? They almost certainly qualify too.
As should other neurological conditions, like muscular dystrophy.
“Some people with developmental or behavioral disorders may have difficulties accessing information, understanding or practicing preventative measures, and communicating symptoms of illness.”People with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
Depending on the situation, some autistic kids might even qualify to get their COVID-19 vaccine in ACIP phase 1c.
Where Can I Find a COVID-19 Vaccine for My Kids?
So what do you do once you have determined that your kids should get a COVID-19 vaccine (they are old enough and have a qualifying medical condition), where do you get it?
Unfortunately, getting your kids a COVID-19 vaccine probably isn’t going to be as easy as just calling your pediatrician and going in for the shot. Most pediatricians have not been allocated any COVID-19 vaccine yet.
To get your kids vaccinated, you will likely have to search for a dose in your community.
It might help to:
- check with your state health department
- check with your county health department
- search for a nearby COVID-19 vaccination hub (larger vaccination sites)
- search for a nearby COVID-19 vaccination clinic or provider
And it will definitely help to keep trying, as it will be some time before COVID-19 vaccines are in such good supply that getting vaccinated is a quick and easy process.
More on COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids
- COVID-19 Vaccination Goals
- COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Answers
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Moms
- Where Are the Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine Trials?
- Allergic Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines
- Where Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Near Me?
- CDC – When Vaccine is Limited, Who Should Get Vaccinated First?
- CDC – Evidence Table for COVID-19 Vaccines Allocation in Phases 1b and 1c of the Vaccination Program
- CDC – People with Certain Medical Conditions at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
- CDC – People with Developmental and Behavioral Disorders at Increased Risk for Severe COVID-19
- What is MDA doing to ensure that the NMD community will get priority access to COVID-19 vaccines?
- CF Foundation Strongly Supports COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations for People Living With Cystic Fibrosis
- MARAC Advisory Statement: COVID-19 Vaccines and Sickle Cell Disease