All children 6 months and older are now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reviewed the studies conducted by vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech and unanimously determined that the shots are safe and effective for children.
Vaccine efficacy varies between the companies and among different age groups. That’s for a number of reasons: the trials were conducted during waves of different variants, trials for kids were relatively small, and very few kids tested positive for COVID-19 in the short time period during which they were studied. The studies also looked at different outcomes, with some focusing on COVID-19 infections as a measure of the vaccine’s effectiveness, while others focused on symptoms of severe disease and hospitalization. The bottom line is that both mRNA vaccines were found to be safe and efficacious against serious disease in all age groups.
Parents who want to get their young children vaccinated now have decisions to make, and figuring out when to vaccinate your kids—and with which vaccine—can be confusing.
Here’s a visual guide to understanding the similarities and differences between the vaccines.