All this follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that children as young as 6 months receive the updated vaccine that helps protect against the newer variants of the virus.
The Pfizer-BioNTech primary series for babies and toddlers is three doses. According to the updated CDC guidance, the first two shots should be the original, monovalent vaccine given three to eight weeks apart.
The third dose is given at least eight weeks after the second and, now, should be the updated, bivalent vaccine. The city’s municipal health care system will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children under the age of 5, and as young as 6 months, in its pediatric practices at all 11 hospitals. New Yorkers can use the City’s Vax Finder or call 877-NYC-4NYC (877-692-4692) to schedule an appointment.
“As a parent, I know how important it is to protect our children from severe illness. That’s why I’m urging New Yorkers to get their little ones vaccinated against new variants as the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to evolve,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “The updated shot is safe and effective. We want our children to enjoy the holidays surrounded by loved ones.”
“We are very pleased to make available to our youngest patients the updated, bivalent COVID-19 vaccine” said NYC Health + Hospitals Ambulatory Care Chief Medical Officer Andrew B. Wallach, MD, FACP. “These updated, bivalent vaccines offer the best protection against the current variants of the COVID-19 virus circulating in our communities. Further, they are safe and effective and prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”
Children 6 months through 4 years of age who have already completed their three-dose primary series with the original, monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will not be eligible for a booster dose of an updated bivalent vaccine at this time, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Children in this age group who already completed their primary series would still be expected to have protection against the most serious outcomes from the currently circulating omicron variant.
Children will be closely monitored for 15 minutes after each dose as is standard for all childhood vaccinations. Children may experience similar side effects to vaccination as adults, with usually mild effects lasting one to two days. A parent or guardian must provide consent for their child to be vaccinated.
Updated COVID-19 vaccines are formulated to protect against some of the more recently circulating variants. COVID-19 vaccines are critical to providing ongoing protection as immunity wanes and the virus continues to mutate.
NYC Health + Hospitals patients are encouraged to schedule an appointment for their child’s vaccine by calling their pediatrician’s practice directly.
Vaccines for All
NYC Health + Hospitals offers COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older. Children ages 5 to 17 should receive two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, given three weeks apart. Adolescents ages 12 through 15 can also get their shot at some NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health sites. Our healthcare system is offering an additional primary series dose (third dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible New Yorkers with certain immunocompromising conditions or who receive treatments that weaken their immune system. You can schedule an appointment here. For more information, visit our COVID-19 vaccine web page.
NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs.
A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals.
Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthandHospitals or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.