LDH issues recommendation on COVID vaccine for children ages 6 months and up
Published 9:21 am Tuesday, June 21, 2022
All Louisiana children ages 6 months and up are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accepting the recommendation of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization of the three-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the two-dose Moderna vaccine.
CDC and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) recommend that all eligible children receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and their families. The COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be safe for children ages 6 months and up and help guard against severe COVID-19 outcomes, including certain heart conditions, long-term complications, hospitalization and death.
As Louisiana continues to experience an increase in positive COVID-19 infections throughout the state, it is critical that all eligible Louisianans get the COVID-19 vaccine. Tragically, LDH has reported a total of 21 children in Louisiana have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, all of whom were not up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.
COVID-19 can cause severe complications in some children, including over 300 Louisiana children who have been diagnosed with the life-threatening condition multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Vaccinating your children will reduce their chance of contracting severe complications from COVID-19. Staying up-to-date on vaccinations is key to keeping our families safe and enjoying summer with confidence.
“The COVID-19 vaccines have saved thousands of lives in Louisiana. Many parents are eager to extend this protection to their younger children and we are pleased they now have the opportunity to do so,” said LDH State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “With the addition of this younger age group, we recommend everyone in the family ages 6 months and up receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Studies have shown vaccination confers additional protection even for those who have previously been infected. While most children experience only mild symptoms from COVID-19, unfortunately some do get quite ill. As it has for adults and older children, vaccination of younger children will save lives.”
LDH has notified all providers that this guidance is effective immediately. Pediatric vaccine deliveries for this newly eligible group will begin the week of June 20.
LDH has published a list of all providers who have ordered initial allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine for under-5-year-olds on its website: ldh.la.gov/kidsvax.
The dosing schedule for each vaccine are as follows:
- The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a primary series of two doses, one month apart.
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a primary series of three doses, in which the initial two doses are administered three weeks apart, followed by a third dose, administered at least eight weeks after the second dose.
Where and how do I get my child vaccinated?
LDH encourages parents and caregivers to contact their child’s pediatrician to find out if they offer the COVID-19 vaccine and to make a plan. Or, click here to find a provider near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment. For a person younger than age 18, parental/caregiver consent is needed to get the shot. LDH has developed a consent form that can be found on its website at ldh.la.gov/Covid-19K-12.
Families can also call the COVID-19 Support Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 to speak with a medical professional, find a nearby vaccine provider, and schedule an appointment.
What is the risk of COVID-19 to children?
COVID-19 cases in children can result in hospitalization, death, and other complications.
Since March of 2020, Louisiana has tragically lost 21 children to COVID-19, all of whom were not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, LDH has confirmed 331 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) — a serious condition associated with COVID-19 in which different parts of the body become inflamed.
Why should you consider getting your child vaccinated?
The CDC, and Louisiana Department of Health recommend that all eligible children receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and minimize harmful effects of COVID-19.
With COVID-19 levels still high in Louisiana, vaccination against COVID-19:
- Strengthens your child’s immune system.
- Helps prevent severe COVID-19 symptoms.
- Reduces the likelihood of them developing conditions or experiencing complications from COVID-19.
- Staying up-to-date on our COVID-19 vaccinations is key to keeping our families safe and enjoying summer with confidence.