IMPORTANT UPDATE re. VIRTUAL CARE
The Ontario Medical Association and the Ministry of Health agreed that there would be changes made to the way that virtual medicine would continue as of October 1, 2022.
Patients and our clinicians have found virtual care to be effective, efficient, and convenient. We plan to continue offering virtual care when appropriate.
In order to maintain the right balance of in-person and virtual care, we are encouraging all Kidcrew families to come in for an in-person visit to ensure we can provide virtual care after October 1, 2022.
If your child has not been examined at Kidcrew since October 2020, please book an in-person visit before October. We recommend that children receive complete physical exams each year and know many of our patients have not been examined since the pandemic started.
What do we know about the COVID vaccine in kids 6 months and 5 years?
The following information is based on statements from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Canadian Pediatric Society.
When was the vaccine approved?
Health Canada approved the Moderna vaccine (25 mcg) for children six months to 5 years old in July 2022. As of July 28, 2022, parents and caregivers in Ontario were able to book appointments.
While most children infected with COVID have mild symptoms, some children develop severe diseases and require hospitalization.
Data from Ontario shows that preschool-aged children are at an increased risk of illness requiring hospitalization than school-aged children. In particular, children six months to four years have an average monthly rate of hospitalization due to COVID that is 16/100,000 from January 1, 2022 – March 31, 2022, compared to 1.4/100000 from March 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021. Some children do develop multi-inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) from COVID-19.
Young children with comorbidities such as low birth weight, heart or lung conditions, and those with compromised immune systems as at increased risk for severe outcomes from infection.
Starting fourteen days after the second Moderna dose, symptomatic infection decreased to 50.6% for children aged six to twenty-three months and 36.5% for kids two to five years of age.
Is there a risk of myocarditis in kids from the Moderna vaccine?
There were zero cases of myocarditis in the Moderna clinical trials. According to NACI, the risk of myocarditis in younger children is much lower than in older kids and adults.
Why might you decide to get your child a COVID-19 vaccine?
A parent or caregiver may decide to vaccine their child if:
- Their child has an underlying medical condition that may increase the risk of severe COVID infection.
- There is a high prevalence of COVID in the community.
- There is a rising prevalence of COVID in the community.
- The child has many close contacts, such as at daycare, camp or school.
- The child has close contact with someone at increased risk of severe illness, such as someone who is immunocompromised.
How should you book an appointment for a COVID vaccine for a child?
Appointments are now available through the COVID-19 vaccination portal and the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre (1-833-943-3900). Some public health units are using their booking systems.
If you have questions or concerns, you can contact your primary care provider or book a confidential phone appointment with a SickKids Registered Nurse.
What are the doses and dosing intervals?
Kids aged six months to under five will receive the pediatric Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This is half the dose as the amount given to kids five to eleven and ¼ the dose given to adults. Two doses are recommended with eight weeks in between doses.
Three doses are recommended for children who are moderate to severely immunocompromised, four to eight weeks apart.
When should my child receive a COVID vaccine if they had a recent COVID infection?
NACI suggests waiting eight weeks after a positive COVID test or the start of symptoms starting the vaccine series or before getting the next vaccine in the series. This interval may be shortened to four weeks for children who are immunocompromised.
Can the COVID vaccine be given with other vaccines?
NACI recommended waiting fourteen days between the COVID-19 vaccine and another vaccine for this age group. It is not dangerous to give other vaccines at the same time or close together but separating them allows us to understand vaccine side effects more clearly. If your child needs another routine vaccine, please review the optimal timing with your health care provider.
Have a wonderful week!
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.