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AdventHealth doctors answer commonly asked questions about the newly approved Pfizer vaccine for littlest kids

Photo: AdventHealth
Photo: AdventHealth

Adult dose or child dose? That’s the question many Central Florida parents are asking if they have a child who will turn 12 years old in the next few weeks. That’s because a smaller Pfizer vaccine dose was approved for 5- to 11-year-old kids this week. 

AdventHealth and other Central Florida hospitals will be able to order the smaller, two-dose Pfizer shot for 5- to 11-year-olds starting on Tuesday. 

Dr. Fatma Levent is a pediatrician with AdventHealth.

She says kids who turn twelve between doses should start with the smaller dose prescribed for 11-year-olds. After their 12th birthday, though, either the kid-size version or the full adult dose would be appropriate for the second shot. 

“They can get the adult dose as they are eligible for it, but even if they get the two lower doses we anticipate that they’re going to have a really good response to it as well.”

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Levent says either way, the child will have immunity against COVID.

She also recommends kids who have had COVID still get the shot. A recent study shows immunity from the vaccine lasts longer than immunity from an infection. 

“So, if you’ve had the COVID, we have been recommending about a month maybe after the actual infection, you can go ahead and get vaccinated.”

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She says the shot for 5- to 11-year-olds is about 91 percent effective with few side effects other than redness and pain at the injection site.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.