The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) announced it is recommending that all Boston children and infants ages 6-months and older get vaccinated against COVID-19. The BPHC’s recommendation follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be used for children 6 months and older.
“Many parents and caregivers have been anxiously awaiting approval of COVID-19 vaccination for the under 5 age group after two very difficult years of worrying about the health and safety of their children,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Some parents may be uncertain about getting their child vaccinated because there is so much information to consider. The vaccines are safe and protective against serious illness in this age group. Parents with questions or concerns should talk to their child’s pediatrician to get the facts about the vaccine.”
For children 6 months and older, the Pfizer vaccine consists of three pediatric doses, and the Moderna vaccine consists of two pediatric doses. COVID-19 vaccines are already available to children and adults ages 5 and older.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, you can use the state’s Vax Finder website to find clinics offering vaccines for children. The website lists one Jamaica Plain site (CVS at 704 Centre St.) that is offering vaccines for children younger than 5. There are sites in Roxbury, Roslindale, and other neighborhoods that are offering vaccinations for children younger than 5.
Parents can also call their pediatrician and ask their provider’s office directly. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and no insurance or ID is required.
The BPHC also released a statement about the vaccines for people 6 months and older:
Of all the mitigation and prevention measures, COVID-19 vaccines provide the most protection against the virus across all age groups. The FDA’s evaluation and analysis of the safety, effectiveness and manufacturing of these vaccines for this age group was rigorous and comprehensive. The vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe infection that can result in hospitalization and death. Although COVID-19 is often milder in children, children can become seriously ill. They can also transmit COVID-19 to family members who may be at greater risk for severe illness or death.
The BPHC also said it remains concerned about the significant racial disparities in child vaccination rates. Currently, only 27% of Black children ages 5-11 and 34% of Latinx children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated, as compared to 71% of white children in the same age range.