Covid Vaccines For Children Under 5

On June 18, 2022 the CDC accepted the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that children ages 6 months and older should be vaccinated against Covid 19. Before that, children under 5 were not eligible to receive the vaccine. A lot of parents can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing a vaccine is available for their children. Let’s take a look at the newly approved options.

Children of all ages can get Covid-19 and experience its complications.

2 Options

The CDC and the FDA approved both Moderna’s two-part vaccine for children ages 6 months – 5 years and three-dose vaccine for children ages 6 months – 4 years. Moderna’s two-part vaccine involves a 25 microgram dose in each part.and are given 4 weeks apart. For Pfizer’s three-dose vaccine, each dose is 3 micrograms. The first 2 shots are given 3 weeks apart, and the third is given at least 2 months after the second so the series is a longer process. If a pharmacy or pediatrician has both vaccines available and a child falls within the range for both Pfizer and Moderna, parents can choose which one they’d like for their child. 

Differences and Similarities

covid vaccine
COVID-19 vaccines are safe—much safer than getting COVID-19.

As mentioned above, Pfizer’s series has 3 doses as opposed to Moderna’s 2, which makes it longer to complete and has 1 additional shot. If you’ve dealt with small children, less visits to get a poke may be an incentive but if it’s efficacy you’re after, Pfizer’s 3 dose series provided a higher percentage at 80% in children ages 6 months to 4 years. Moderna’s efficacy was 37% in children ages 2 to 5 and 51% in children ages 6 to 23 months. As far as side effects, fever and fatigue were less common in Pfizer’s vaccine. In both, side effects were mild and no cases of myocarditis were reported. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle and is a known risk of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in adults and adolescents but particularly for young men. The bottom line is that while there are some differences, they both lower the risk of kids getting seriously ill from Covid-19 and prevent needing to be hospitalized.

Why Vaccinate Children Under 5?

boy in mask
A Covid-19 vaccine can be given to eligible children on the same day as other vaccines.

Since the pandemic began, more than 2 million children under 5 have been infected with Covid-19 and more than 400 young children have died from it. Much to everyone’s dismay it’s not going away anytime soon. Vaccinating helps prevent children from getting Covid-19 and can help families get back to a more normal life. Talk to your pediatrician and decide what vaccine is right for your child today. While Covid-19 vaccinations are available for everyone 6 months and older at no cost, it is still important to be sure you have a health insurance plan that suits you and your family’s needs. If you’re shopping for a plan, your best bet is to speak to a licensed EZ agent. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, so we can compare plans in minutes. We will not only find a plan that has all the benefits you’re looking for, but we will also make sure the plan fits your budget. To get free, no obligation, instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local agent, call 888-350-1890.


Will You Vaccinate Your Child? Coronavirus Vaccine For Ages 5-11 Are “Ready” To Go

We have had the Covid-19 vaccine for almost a year now; the Pfizer version is now fully approved for adults and for children 12 and older, so the focus is now naturally on availability for children ages 5-11. On November 2, The FDA finally approved emergency use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years old, and federal officials say they are ready to begin administering as many as 20 million doses of the vaccine to children across the U.S. That is enough doses to give 2 shots to all 28 million eligible children ages 5-11. So why has it taken so long for us to get to this point, and will we soon see a large number of young children being vaccinated in this country?

Why The Push For a Vaccine?covid vaccine vial and needle with a virus next to the needle

At the beginning of the pandemic, children rarely got severely ill from Covid-19, but the Delta variant has changed that: almost 30,000 children were hospitalized in August alone from the highly contagious variant. Not only that, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, one in four children were infected with Covid last month: that makes a grand total of nearly 5.9 million Americans younger than 18 having been infected, with roughly 791 dead from the virus, 172 of them ages 5-11. 

“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against Covid-19,” a Pfizer official said.

Why the Delay?

The vaccine has taken much longer to be administered to children than to adults because, as experts point out, creating a vaccine for children is not merely a matter of reducing the dose of the adult version by a predetermined amount. That means researchers have been hard at work determining the correct formulation and have put the children’s version of the shot through vigorous trials. 

The Trialwoman in a lab coat looking at viales

The Pfizer vaccine trial included 2,268 children, two-thirds of whom received two 10-microgram doses of the vaccine 3 weeks apart; the other participants were injected with 2 doses of saltwater placebo. The data the drug companies presented to the FDA showed that the vaccine was 90.7% effective against symptomatic Covid. The antibody response to the vaccine was comparable to the one seen in people 16 to 25 years old.

The most common side effects were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and head and muscle aches, but kids who get the vaccine feel “ultimately fine in two or three days,” says Dr. Ibukunoluwa Kalu, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Duke University. The Pfizer vaccine has also been linked to rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults, particularly young men, but Pfizer has said they did not see any instances of heart inflammation in the trial participants.

The two drug makers (Pfizer and BioNTech) are also testing the vaccine in children ages 2 to 5 years old and children ages 6 months to 2 years, with data expected in the fourth quarter.

Guidelines for Children Getting Vaccinated

After November 2nd, when the FDA approved the emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, millions of doses began being shipped across the country. Each child will have to take 2 10-microgram doses of the vaccine (which is about one-third of the adult dose), 3 weeks apart to be considered fully vaccinated. 

Experts are recommending that, even if the child was exposed to Covid, they should still get the vaccine, since natural immunity offers some protection, but no one is sure how long this natural immunity lasts. It is also recommended that children continue to wear masks indoors after getting vaccinated. 

Will You Vaccinate Your Children?question mark with a red dot

State and federal officials, along with healthcare providers, believe that vaccinating children is more challenging than vaccinating adults. 

Pediatricians are urging parents not to wait: “You can’t wait until millions and millions of doses are given before you decide, because this virus is going to take every opportunity it can to infect someone,” says Dr. Tina Tan, pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at Northwestern and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“Because the delta variant is that much more transmissible, kids can get delta and can get quite sick from it,” says Tan. “You cannot predict — in a normal healthy child — who’s going to get very sick and who’s not. [Vaccinating] is the best way to protect your child against getting severe COVID illness.”

However, parents are still divided on whether they will give their children the vaccine, or wait until they “see how it goes.” According to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about a third of parents of young children have said they are willing to wait longer to give their children the vaccine, one-third have said they are willing to give it to their children “right away,” and the remaining third have made it clear that they will “definitely not” get the Covid-19 vaccine for their children.

Say Goodbye to Masks While Traveling: Federal Judge Strikes Down Mask Mandate for Planes and Public Transit

As anyone who has traveled in the past year knows, the Biden Administration issued a mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods in January of 2021 in an attempt to help slow the spread of Covid, and to protect transport workers. This mandate remained in place despite infection numbers going down and mask mandates being lifted in schools, restaurants, and other indoor activities, but now it looks like they are a thing of the past. A federal judge in Florida has ruled that mask mandates for travel are unlawful and has struck them down, meaning that everyone can now make the choice whether or not to mask up while traveling on any form of transport.  

Masks Are Now Optionalhand throwing a mask into a trash can

In her ruling, US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle stated that the mask mandate was unlawful, and violated administrative law. In the 59-page ruling, Judge Mizelle wrote “Wearing a mask cleans nothing. At most, it traps virus droplets. But it neither ‘sanitizes’ the person wearing the mask nor ‘sanitizes’ the conveyance.”

She also wrote that “the mandate is best understood not as sanitation, but as an exercise of the CDC’s power to conditionally release individuals to travel despite concerns that they may spread a communicable disease (and to detain or partially quarantine those who refuse). But the power to conditionally release and detain is ordinarily limited to individuals entering the United States from a foreign country.”

Following the ruling, several US airlines — Delta, United, and Southwest among them — said masks are now optional on their aircraft. In a statement, Alaska Airlines said that passengers whose behavior was “particularly egregious” over the past two years in objecting to the mandate will remain banned from flying on the airline, “even after the mask policy is rescinded.”

International Flights

back of a woman standing in an airport
When traveling internationally, you might have to wear a mask, depending on the country’s rules.

Although the mask mandate has ended in the US, that does not mean that other countries are not requiring masks to travel. That means it’s important to be aware of the rules for each country you travel to, and respect those rules when traveling on foreign flights. In the meantime, you can keep yourself safe by wearing a mask if you so choose, and by getting vaccinated and/or boosted

The Biden Administration’s Stance

The Biden Administration seems to be accepting the decision, although they are hinting that they are not in agreement with the removal of the mandate. According to one official, “The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”

Yet Another New Covid-19 Variant Is Spreading Across The US

Just when we thought things were returning to normal, a new Covid-19 variant has reared its ugly head. The variant known as BA.2 was first detected months ago, and is spreading quickly across the U.S. According to the CDC, this new variant is becoming the dominant strain of Covid, since it has been doubling each week for the past month. So what can we expect from this new strain?

The Spread of BA.2

red virus with a network connected in the background

This new Covid-19 variant, BA.2, is even more transmissible than the strain that came before it, the omicron variant. It made up 3% of cases in NJ and NY at the end of the week of March 12,  up 25% from the previous week! In the West, it has accounted for 27.7% of cases, up 17.1%.

But, while it’s clear that this new variant is more transmissible than others that came before it, what is unclear is if this new variant is more lethal than previous ones. “We often don’t know until it’s too late,” said Stephanie Silvera, an infectious disease specialist at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. “That’s been the problem with managing these surges. Deaths are one of the last impacts we see.”

“It’s difficult to predict how Covid-19 variants or any other emerging respiratory virus will evolve over time and what their specific impacts will be,” said Dr. Tina Tan, New Jersey state epidemiologist. “And it is hard to predict whether a surge in BA.2 will translate to increased hospitalizations or deaths at this time.”

Will the Vaccine Protect Against BA.2?

According to British scientists, the current vaccines have been shown to be effective in preventing severe illness from the new strain, but they might not prevent infection. Some experts are remaining hopeful, though. 

“…Hopefully, we won’t see a surge. I don’t think we will,” Chief Medical Advisor to the president Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “The easiest way to prevent that is to continue to get people vaccinated, and for those who have been vaccinated to continue to get boosted.”

Will We Go Back To A Mask Mandate? different colored masks

As of now, Dr. Fauci also does not think that mask mandates need to be reinstated. “If we do see a significant surge, particularly one that might result in increased hospitalizations, we have to be prepared to pivot and perhaps reinstitute some of those restrictions,” he said. “But right now, at this point, I don’t see that.”

Medicare Will Cover at-Home Covid Tests, Find Out How to Get Them for Free

Since Covid-19 hit the U.S., we have been looking for ways to stop the spread of the virus. One of these ways has been to try and test people as effectively as possible, although this has proven difficult to do. But now President Biden has finally rolled out his plan to get free at-home Covid tests to everyone who wants them, mandating most insurers cover a certain number of tests per month. And now Medicare will partake in it, offering older adults the ability to get at-home tests for free starting in Spring 2022.

At-Home Test Coverage

covid test kits on a table
Medicare will soon cover at-home Covid tests beginning in the spring!

The Biden Administration has mandated that private insurers must now cover the cost of up to 8 at-home tests per person a month, as of January 15. Depending on the insurance company, those looking to purchase tests will either get no-cost tests at the store, or will purchase the tests out-of-pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement. 

In February 2022, the Biden Administration announced that Medicare will cover the cost of up to 8 at-home COVID tests per month for Medicare beneficiaries with Part B, starting in early spring 2022. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to pick up the tests at no cost from eligible pharmacies and other entities.

In the Meantime…

There are other ways for Medicare beneficiaries to get them for free, including:

  • Ordering four free tests through, a new government website.
  • Going to Medicare-certified health clinics, as well as community health centers, where at-home tests can be picked up for free.
  • Getting free testing at local testing sites: “While at this time original Medicare cannot pay for at-home tests, testing remains a critical tool to help mitigate the spread of Covid,” a CMS spokesperson said, adding that there are more than 20,000 free testing sites where beneficiaries can get lab-based PCR tests, rapid PCR tests, and rapid antigen tests.hands with gloves on holding covid swab and tube
  • Getting tests authorized by a healthcare provider, in which case there will be no cost-sharing fee.

As of now, until this initiative begins, Medicare beneficiaries are required to pay for the cost of at-home rapid tests for Covid-19 and are not getting reimbursed by Medicare.

Covid-19 Hospitalizations Are Dropping!

It might have seemed throughout the past two years that the Covid-19 pandemic would never end, but now there is a glimmer of hope. Covid-19 hospitalizations are finally dropping, with some states starting to see infection numbers and hospitalization rates drop by as much as 25%- 58% over the last two weeks. Hopefully, this trend will continue, so we can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

red arrow pointing down
Covid-19 hospitalization rates are dropping throughout the U.S.

Where Cases Are Dropping

In the Northeast, hospitalization rates have dropped by around 25% after reaching a peak 2 weeks ago, while the Midwest region is seeing a 44% decrease, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. The U.S. as a whole is also seeing a drop in new Covid-related hospital admissions: as of March 14, As of March 9, 2022, the current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (37,147) decreased 28.8% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (52,156). A total of 79,248,406 Covid-19 cases have been reported in the United States as of March 9, 2022.

“All of the current data is showing very encouraging trends, with many of our key health metrics consistently and substantially declining,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday. “But we’re not out of the woods. Even though we have been able to attain considerable drops in the metrics, and they’re continuing to drop, they’re still much higher than they have been or where we need to be.”

On The Roadsilhouette of a woman raising her arms towards the sun

It looks like we are finally seeing some good news, as the nation as a whole is seeing a decrease in Covid cases, but there are some states that are still struggling. As of now, according to recent data, roughly 212 million Americans are fully vaccinated, which is around 65.8% of the population. Around 77.3% of people in the US have received their first shot, which means that we are on the brink of almost three-quarters of the country being fully vaccinated. As more people become vaccinated, it is more likely that Covid-19 hospitalizations will continue to decline, and we might see restrictions begin to be lifted everywhere.