Doctor advises Covid vaccine for youngest children, saying some that get sick become very ill

Parents have waited a long time for the vaccine for kids under 5, which finally got the green light.

Because children are known to be more contagious, doctors hope this vaccine will slow the spread of Covid among children so they won’t miss days at school or daycare.

Both Pfizer and Moderna doses are available for American children ages 6 months to 5 years old. The milestone comes roughly a year and a half since the first adults received their first Covid vaccine shots.

Kids should be able to get the vaccine at Henry Ford Health by next week.

"This is another tool to help us as we prepare for future variants and future surges. Hopefully, the vaccine is going to make it a whole lot better," said Dr. Dennis Cunningham.

Cunningham is a pediatrician and director of infection prevention and control at Henry Ford Health.

"If my children were young, I would certainly vaccinate them," he said. "I have teenagers so they’re already vaccinated. I think this vaccine is a really good bet in terms of safety."

If you’re a parent, here’s what you need to know — children will receive a lower dosage of the same vaccine adults get.

Pfizer, which is three shots, is 80 percent effective.

Moderna, which is only two shots, is 51 percent effective for kids 6 months to two years - and 37 percent effective for ages 2 to 5.

Doctors say side effects include fever, aches, and pains.

"We certainly are seeing a whole lot more Covid in kids than we are seeing anything else out there — including flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella," Cunningham added.

So far, 440 American children have died from COVID-19.

Doctor Cunningham says while many children are not hospitalized - the ones who are seriously ill, could end up in ICU.

"Kids who do get admitted, they tend to get very sick," he said. "The most worrisome complication is a multi-system inflammatory condition where it’s basically their bodies' immune system on supercharge and it can (start) attacking itself."

FOX 2 spoke with the Wayne County Health Department. It has ordered 2,000 doses and are waiting for the thumbs up from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The department is hopeful parents will bring their young children to clinics or neighborhood events this summer ahead of a potential surge or wave in the colder months.