Vaccines against COVID-19 are now commonly accessible for people as young as six months old. The primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should be completed 5 months prior to receiving a booster shot, while the primary series of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccination should be completed 2 months prior to receiving a booster shot.

Now that there are numerous vaccines to choose from, many parents are confused about when and what kind of vaccine booster they should give their child. 

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It might be challenging to stay up-to-date on the latest scientific developments and our understanding of COVID-19. Parents are eager to learn the best course of action for their children, particularly those who are old enough for vaccinations and boosters or who have impaired immune systems.

All three vaccinations against COVID-19 currently on the market in the United States (Pfizer’s, Moderna’s, and J&J’s) were subjected to extensive testing before being made available to the public, and all three were found to be highly successful at preventing severe instances. 

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Although not all COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters have been fully approved for use in children of all ages, there is still a lot for parents to learn, such as whether or not it is safe and suggested to combine vaccines and boosters.

What parents need to know about giving their young children multiple doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or other boosters is discussed by a panel of experts.

Influenza Virus Type 19 Vaccines and Boosters: Recommendations

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The FDA authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination booster in September 2022. Whether or not persons who were originally vaccinated with Moderna or Johnson & Johnson should get the Pfizer booster is a question without a clear answer at the time. 

The FDA finally gave its clearance to the Moderna and J&J boosters in October 2022, simplifying the booster process and expanding available options.

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The FDA acknowledged that mixing vaccination brands had been evaluated and approved in its October approval of the Moderna and J&J booster doses. To this end, “any of the available COVID-19 vaccines may be used as a heterologous (or mix and match) booster dose in eligible persons after primary vaccination with a different accessible COVID-19 vaccine has been completed.”

Booster vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna should be given 5 months following the primary vaccine. The CDC currently recommends using the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in place of the J&J vaccine in all but restricted circumstances, while Johnson & Johnson suggests administering the booster vaccine two months after the initial immunization. The J&J vaccine is also not approved for use in children. Therefore, it cannot be administered to them.

Can Adolescents and Young Adults Alternate Between COVID-19 Vaccine Dosages?

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Those who received the Pfizer primary series as a kid are advised to get booster shots once they reach the age of 5. Currently, children who are part of the Moderna series do not need to undergo booster shots.

While adults can receive any combination of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, it is recommended that eligible children have only the Pfizer injection for the booster. Children with conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or Down syndrome put them at a higher risk of developing life-threatening infections and other illnesses, making them immunocompromised. However, you and your child’s pediatrician can talk about the ideal booster shot for your kid.

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According to pediatrician Jarret Patton, MD, FAAP of Pennsylvania, parents should err on the side of caution when it comes to combining vaccine and booster doses. Vaccines given to youngsters should, in most situations, be the same brand that was used for the initial vaccination. New information and studies, however, have shown that combining different vaccination brands is OK.

A pediatrician has stated that there is currently no information on how combining immunizations affects youngsters. Thus, parents should exercise caution when allowing their children and adolescents to switch between different vaccine brands. Before deciding to combine several kinds of vaccines for their children, parents should wait for official instructions.

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Both doctors recommended that parents discuss their child’s vaccination and booster schedule with their family doctor. This is especially crucial for vulnerable children and anyone whose health might be negatively affected by contracting and becoming ill from the virus.

Though there is less research on boosters for children and teens, your healthcare practitioner can advise you on a specific approach for your child. While mixing and matching vaccine and booster doses has freshly been cleared by the FDA, it has not yet been advised for children. As the additional study is done, doctors and scientists will be able to offer more explicit recommendations for families.

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Booster injections are advised for everyone aged 5 and older if qualified. This comprises children 5 and up who completed their primary vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine. Booster shots are advised 5 months after the primary series is completed. 

Boosters are not suggested, at this time, for children who are vaccinated with the Moderna primary series. Consult a medical professional if unsure when or what kind of booster would be best for your kids.

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