Michigan Association of Health Plans

Ask the Expert: MSU doctor answers questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for children

This story is from MSU Today. Read more here.

Rebecca Schein, a doctor of pediatric infectious diseases at Michigan State University, answers questions about the new FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5. 

 Why should I vaccinate my child against COVID-19?

Since the start of the pandemic there have been over 2.5 million cases of COVID-19, 200,000 hospitalizations and almost 500 deaths in children under 5 years of age. Vaccinating your child protects against severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization and death. Children are also at risk for multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C, which is a severe immune response. The vaccine proved to be 99% effective in preventing MIS-C in older children. As new COVID-19 variants arise, the rate of COVID-19 infection is increasing in young children, and vaccination is the best way that we can keep them safe.

 What is the difference between the vaccine for children ages 5 and under versus older children or adults?

Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech both have approved vaccines for children over 6 months of age. The Moderna vaccine was approved at ¼ of the adult dose for children 6 months to 5 years of age and ½ of the adult dose for children 6-11 years of age. Pfizer-BioNTech makes a vaccine for children 6-11 years of age that is already on the market and now has approval of the vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years of age that is 1/10 of the adult dose. 

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