How does the process work and what do parents need to know now that the CDC is recommending that children who are six months to five years old get either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19?

“These vaccines have already been studied. They have been tested in several thousand children, so their children would not be the first,” said Kimberly Giuliano, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “And what we have seen with the other vaccine products is the five to eleven-year-old age group has tolerated the vaccine beautifully.”

Dr. Giuliano said there are some slight differences between the vaccines.  For example, Moderna’s age limit is five years old, while Pfizer’s is four years old.

Moderna also uses a two-dose series, while Pfizer uses a three-dose series.

Both vaccines are extremely safe and effective, according to Dr. Giuliano who admitted that side effects such as soreness, fever, fussiness, sleepiness, and localized redness and swelling at the injection site, are possible.

"So no side effects or mild side effects, it's best to just let them run their course, but if a child is running a high fever, is really fussy, is really uncomfortable, then it is fine and safe to go ahead and give a dose of a pain-relieving medication," Dr. Giuliano advised.

Vaccines for this age group come in a lower dose, so they’re not receiving the same amount an adult would.

Parents also don’t need to worry about timing, according to Dr. Guiliano, who said the COVID-19 vaccine will not interfere with other immunizations.