A parent’s guide to COVID-19 vaccines for children

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Credit – Steve Debenport—Getty Images

All children 6 months and older can now be vaccinated against COVID-19. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reviewed the studies conducted by vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech and unanimously determined that the vaccines are safe and effective for children.

Vaccine effectiveness varies from company to company and age group to age group. This is for a number of reasons: the trials were conducted in waves of different variants, the trials for children were relatively small, and very few children tested positive for COVID-19 in the short period in which they were studied. The studies also looked at different outcomes, with some focusing on COVID-19 infections as a measure of vaccine effectiveness, while others focused on symptoms of severe illness and hospitalization. The bottom line is that both mRNA vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective against serious diseases in all age groups.

Parents who want to vaccinate their young children now have decisions to make, and knowing when to vaccinate their children and with which vaccine can be confusing.

Here is a visual guide to understanding the similarities and differences between vaccines.

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