COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5: What New Mexicans should know

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The wait is finally over. Children as young as six months old can be protected against COVID-19.

For children under five, it’s a much smaller dose – for Pfizer, it’s a tenth of the adult dose in a three-dose series. Moderna has a two-dose series for now.

Dr. Alex Cvijanovich, president of the New Mexico Pediatric Society, was excited about the announcement.

“They’re seeing fewer side effects with the vaccine side effects themselves,” Dr. Cvijanovich said. “Unlike us adults, who seem to suffer with each of these vaccines.”

Dr. Cvijanovich said the vaccines are safe and effective, even for those between six months and two years old.

“As a pediatrician I am very protective of this age group as well, but when you look at the number of doses we’ve given, for Pfizer, it’s been millions, hundreds of millions by now, and the data shows that it’s a safe vaccine and it’s effective of protecting against severe disease,” she said.

Dr. Cvijanovich said children in this age group are particularly good at sharing germs – making this added layer of protection extra necessary.

“We haven’t figured out what exactly makes some people get quite sick with the virus,” Dr. Cvijanovich said. “So, yes, let’s say you have a seven-month-old infant that’s a totally healthy infant, that doesn’t guarantee that if they get COVID they will just get the sniffles.”

The New Mexico Department of Health has not released an official plan yet, but Dr. Cvijanovich believes shots will probably happen at pediatrician offices.

Meanwhile, only about 32% of New Mexico children ages 5 to 11 have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series.

To schedule a vaccine appointment for your child, click here.