COVID Vaccines Now Authorized for Children from 6 Months and Older

By Stephanie Paulmeno, DNP, RN, NHA, CPH, CCM, CDP

June 20, 2022 marked a milestone in COVID-19 protection. After extensive infant and child studies, both the FDA and the CDC have authorized Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children from 6-months to 5 years old; children 5 and up were previously approved. Both vaccines are well-known to us. They are safe and effective. They have reduced doses and specified vaccine schedules for young children. This link provides 11 evidence-based sources that attest to the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for children, and they debunk common misinformation ( Science, facts and figures dispute the misrepresentation of the deaths of children from COVID-19 vaccines. That has never happened! Not a single child in the US has been lost to a COVID-vaccine reaction, but about 800 children in America have been needlessly lost to COVID disease, which is a vaccine-preventable death. Some parents are skeptical about getting their kids vaccinated while others have anxiously awaited the time when they could finally provide this protection for their youngest children. It can be a tough decision to make when so much misinformation abounds. I’m hoping that providing access to scientific facts will help you make the best choices for your families.

We’ve seen the devastation COVID-19 wreaked on our elderly, our infirm, and the immunocompromised; but many feel children are not at significant risk. Dr. John Schreiber, an infectious disease doctor at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford reminded us that the U.S. has already lost about 800 children to this vaccine-preventable death. That risk would be persuasive enough for me if one of my children were among those who died needlessly. Additional children have become critically ill from COVID and required hospitalization and intensive care unit treatment. Vaccines do not prevent us from becoming infected; they protect us from severe illness, from needing to be hospitalized or placed in an ICU at any age, and they act to prevent COVID deaths. Some vaccinated people do die but they are generally the elderly, infirm, or immune-compromised who, despite vaccination, could not develop needed immunity protection. In early January 2022, Dr. Schreiber reported that on average, 21 children a day were being hospitalized with COVID illness across Connecticut (CT Mirror), and this reflected what was being seen across the country (CNN). He noted that many were not high-risk children, so that while the impact on kids is proportionally less than with adults, “it is not zero”. Similarly the Executive Director of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Cynthia N. Sparer, explained that the overwhelming number of kids hospitalized at that point in her facility were eligible to be vaccinated but had not been.

Since COVID-19 hit our shores, the virus has repeatedly mutated and changed. We’ve had surges and lulls as COVID case numbers and deaths rose and fell. This can trick us into a false sense of security. Earlier COVID-19 versions, like DELTA, made people very ill and took huge tolls in human lives and suffering. The OMICRON variants have fortunately been milder, but viruses continuously change and they can and likely will change again. Many children were hospitalized with Omicron. Even as I write, our Positivity Rate in Connecticut is 8.15% (it should be under 5%), and that doesn’t include the home-tested positive people. We in public health urge you to prepare for possible future surges that could impact us and our kids, especially as the Fall season returns and children return to schools and other indoor settings. Getting ourselves vaccinated, boosted, double boosted, and getting all of our children protected is part of that preparedness.

Selecting Your Child’s Vaccine
Access this link; it may answer questions you have or answer questions you had not thought of. Frequently Asked Questions About COVID Vaccines for Children 6 months & Older (Juan Salazar, MD): After you do that, the following steps are recommended.

• Begin by speaking with your child’s pediatrician, APRN or Physician’s assistant who knows your child’s health condition best. Your pediatrician’s office or clinic may have ordered vaccines for their patients.

• Select your vaccine of choice. Both provide reduced dose-strengths for these young children.

You have two choices for a child between 6 months and 5 years of age:

  1. Moderna: A total of two vaccines are needed
    Two (2) reduced strength doses are given four (4) weeks apart
  2. Pfizer: A total of three vaccines are needed
    Three (3) reduced strength doses are given over a period of 11 weeks:

• Schedule and get the 1st Pfizer dose
• The 2nd Pfizer dose is given three (3) weeks after the 1 st dose
• The third (3rd ) Pfizer dose is given AT LEAST two (2) months after the 2nd Pfizer dose

Finding A Vaccination Site for Children 6-Months to 5 years

• Check with you pediatrician’s office or clinic
• The Greenwich Hospital Clinic ( or call 1-833-ASK-YALE
• The CDC’s Vaccine Site Locator; Click on “Find vaccine” and enter your zip code; select and check off EITHER the Pfizer OR Moderna vaccine for ages 6 months-5 years
• The Greenwich Department of Health website
• Check with your local pharmacies
• The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s mobile “yellow vans” visit multiple areas.
Click here for their schedule of sites to be visited
• If you belong to an organization, school, camp, place of worship, or group, you can host a CT Dept of Public Health yellow van to come to your site through Dept of Public Health Van Clinics

References, Articles and Links:
En Espanol
Actualización sobre el coronavirus (COVID-19): La FDA autoriza las vacunas contra el COVID-19 de
Moderna y Pfizer-BioNTech para niños a partir de los seis meses de edad .

In English:
Carlesso, J. (2022). Connecticut Prepares to Roll Out COVID Vaccines for Young Children. CT Mirror. Retrieved from Vaccine Portal (2022). COVID-19 Vaccine for Children​: Stay Safe. Get Vaccinated! Retrieved from
Salazar, J. C. (2022). FAQs: The COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids 6 Months And Older. Connecticut’s Children.
Retrieved from