Vaccines against COVID-19 are now available for kids younger than 5 after a long delay. The CDC gave the OK to the COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna and Pfizer on June 18 after the FDA had approved it for use in children 6 months and older. It is encouraging that both immunizations are now commercially available to give parents more flexibility. However, this also means that parents must make a decision, and they may be unsure of which vaccine is best for their child.

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The FDA has fully endorsed both vaccines, so you can’t go wrong with either one. There remain a few distinctions between the two. We consulted with industry professionals to learn more about these distinctions and how to guide you in deciding for your loved ones.

Variations Between the Two Vaccines

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These vaccines have been determined to be safe for children and effective in protecting them from the most dangerous consequences of COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, when comparing the two vaccines’ most important features, there are more parallels than differences.

This article compares and contrasts two vaccines and explains their key differences.

Dosage.

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In comparison to adults and teenagers, the dosage of both vaccines is significantly reduced for use in younger children. Pfizer’s vaccine is formulated for a 3 g dose for infants and toddlers aged 6 months to 4 years, 10 g for children aged 5 to 12, and 30 g for adolescents and adults. However, a 25 g dose of Moderna’s vaccine is administered to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. When compared to the 50 g dose recommended for children ages 6 to 11 and the 100 g amount recommended for those 12 and older, this is a significantly lower dose.

The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna differ not just in terms of dosage but also in that the former was approved for use in a three-dose series for the younger cohort and the latter in a two-dose series.

Time Gap Between Doses.

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The timing of the doses and the amount of time it takes for a child to be “completely vaccinated” varied significantly between the two vaccinations. The Pfizer vaccine requires three separate injections. Three weeks separate the first two injections, and eight weeks separate the third. Two doses of Moderna are administered every 28 days.

Efficacy.

An effective vaccine protects against disease. According to the data we have, Pfizer’s three-dose vaccination was roughly 80% successful in avoiding illness. The two-dose Moderna vaccine was 51% effective in preventing infection in children aged 6 months to 2 years, but only 37% effective in children aged 2 to 6 years.

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The most important thing is that both of these vaccines protect against life-threatening infections. In addition, both vaccinations were partially evaluated during the Omicron epoch, a time when vaccine efficacy declined not only for adults but everyone beyond the age of 65. According to the press release issued by Moderna, the vaccine’s effectiveness in younger children was on par with that shown in adults during the Omicron phase.

Vaccines on both fronts elicited robust immune responses in kids, which is a big deal. According to Pfizer, the antibody response seen in youngsters after vaccination was comparable to that reported in adults aged 16 to 25. Neutralizing antibody titers in children who were vaccinated with Moderna’s product were on par with those in adults.

Adverse Reactions.

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Both immunizations caused mild adverse effects, on par with those of other vaccines routinely given to infants and young children.

Injection-site discomfort was the most prevalent adverse event reported by patients taking Pfizer. After the second dose, 7.4 percent of children aged 6 to 24 months and 4.9 percent of those aged 2 and up experienced fevers. Children were more likely to develop fevers following the Moderna vaccination’s second dosage than the Pfizer vaccine, but both brands had equal adverse effects. The Moderna vaccine caused fevers in 17% of children aged 6 months to 2 years, and in 14.6% of children aged 2 to 5 years.

Vaccine Options for Your Child

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Experts believe that protecting your child by immunizing them is the most important thing and that it doesn’t matter which vaccination you select to do so.

Both vaccines are quite successful and use the same vaccine mRNA technology. There’s no clear answer; readily available vaccination in your location will likely be the deciding factor.

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To some extent, ease of access can dictate the vaccine you choose for your child. The vaccine from Moderna is administered in two doses, 28 days apart, which could be more manageable than Pfizer’s three-dose regimen spread out over three months. This could change in the coming months, since Moderna is currently evaluating a third dose of its vaccine.

In addition, the statistics suggest that fewer fevers occurred in children who had Pfizer’s shot compared to Moderna’s, so this may sway your decision in favor of Pfizer versus Moderna if you’re worried about side effects. However, fever is a common reaction to immunizations in children, so this sort of thing is to be expected. It’s possible that parents will like Pfizer’s findings because they’re slightly more effective against illness.

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There is no “correct” strategy for prioritizing one vaccine over another, and everyone believes that obtaining whichever is readily accessible initially makes the most sense. Parents should obtain the best immunization available where they live.

The good thing is that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines provide excellent protection against the COVID-19 virus, making them ideal for infants and young children. Talk to your kid’s pediatrician if you have any further questions about which vaccine is best for your child.

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