Timing Your Kid’s COVID Vaccine Just Got Easier

Illustration for article titled Timing Your Kid's COVID Vaccine Just Got Easier

Photo: Pixel-Shot (Shutterstock)

Just two days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12 and up, parents of adolescents got more good news: It can be given at the same time (or close to the same time) as any other vaccines they may be due to receive.

Although the vaccine was technically authorized on Monday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is the CDC’s vaccine advisory panel, met today to formalize the recommendation and include any additional considerations. That committee said the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered along with any other vaccine without regard to timing. That effectively means adolescents (and adults, for that matter) can get their COVID shot at the same time as any other vaccine that is needed.

Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended not getting any other vaccines at least two weeks before or after a COVID-19 shot. Because the Pfizer vaccine is administered in two doses about three weeks apart, that would have meant a seven- or eight-week window in which kids wouldn’t be able to get any other vaccinations, making the timing especially tricky for kids who needed certain vaccines for summer camps or school in the fall.

But this new recommendation changes that, and it’s one the American Academy of Pediatrics also backs up:

The AAP supports giving other childhood and adolescent immunizations at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines, particularly for children and teens who are behind on their immunizations. Between the substantial data collected on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and the extensive experience with non-COVID-19 vaccines which shows the immune response and side effects are generally similar when vaccines are given together as when they are administered alone, the benefits of co-administration and timely catch up on vaccinations outweigh any theoretical risk. AAP recommends that children and adolescents catch up on all vaccinations that may have been delayed during the pandemic.

G/O Media may get a commission

In other words, the original recommendation to space them apart was made out an abundance of caution—not because of any known safety risk.


This article originally published on May 5, 2021. It was updated on May 12, 2021 to reflect updated recommendations.

Read More

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *