Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know
COVID Vaccine FAQs for Pediatricians
Children’s National Hospital and HSC are administering vaccines to qualified patients. The age eligibility is dependent on which vaccine we have available (age 16 and older for Pfizer, age 18 and older for all other vaccines). To qualify, patients must have a qualifying chronic health condition associated with a higher risk of severe COVID infection, be experiencing homelessness or be essential workers.
D.C. residents age 16-17 who are not patients of Children’s National, but do have qualifying chronic health conditions associated with higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection can be added to an invitation waitlist by accessing the DC Vaccine Portal. Currently, there is no vaccine available for children under 16 years.
Inpatients at both HSC and Children’s National who meet age requirements and have qualifying conditions will also be offered COVID vaccine if medically appropriate. Alternatively, some patients may be placed on the waitlist for outpatient vaccine administration the following discharge if it is considered a safer course of care.
Children’s National COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Waitlist
If you have a Maryland or D.C. patient that has been seen at CNH or HSC and they have not received an invitation for vaccination from us, and you believe they meet all the criteria, please contact your physician liaison to add your patient to the Children's National COVID Vaccine Waitlist.
- Washington D.C, Montgomery County, Western Maryland
- Central and Southern Maryland, Anne Arundel and Howard Counties
Children's National Hospital Vaccinations
When a patient receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Children’s National, we will send records to the appropriate state immunization registry, and CRISP will be leveraged to document administration of vaccine. Patients will also receive a card indicating the date of vaccine, manufacturer, lot number and date of immunization. We are encouraging patients to inform their PCP when they receive the vaccine.
Each state is developing vaccination plans for their residents. Please check with your state or local health department to understand the plan for your patient.
So far, Children’s National has received the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Going forward, it is possible that we will receive Moderna as well.
Children's National and HSC have extended personal invitations to patients who meet the criteria to qualify for vaccination. The communication informing patients of their selection may come from HSC, their Children’s National specialist’s office or a general Children’s National address. The invitation will include additional information and instructions to make an appointment for the vaccine.
If you have a patient who has been seen at CNH or HSC and they have not received an invitation from us, and you believe they meet all the criteria, please add your patient to the Children's National COVID Vaccine Waitlist to place the patient on a waitlist.
Inpatients at HSC and Children’s National who meet the age and condition requirements will also be offered the vaccine during their inpatient stay if medically appropriate. Alternatively, some patients may be placed on the waitlist for outpatient vaccine administration the following discharge if it is considered a safer course of care.
We are following CDC guidelines, Children’s National experts and Department of Health recommendations to determine who to invite for vaccination. We used health data to identify patients that fall within certain age ranges and have chronic conditions associated with higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection. We are only permitted to immunize patients who reside in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Vaccine supply continues to be unpredictable. If we offer vaccine to a patient, we want to ensure that we can fulfill our offer. We also anticipate lots of interest from patients once we offer vaccine.
We are currently working with Cerner to add an indicator to a patient record to order an invitation for the vaccine. Patients must be over the age of 16 and reside in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
No, we are only vaccinating eligible patients of Children’s National Hospital and HSC. Siblings (even those who are over 16) cannot be vaccinated at this time unless they have also been identified as qualifying for a vaccine.
No, at this time we are only vaccinating eligible patients of Children’s National Hospital.
Getting the Vaccine
A child will not be able to receive the vaccine at Children’s National if:
- They’ve had a severe allergic reaction to injectable medications or vaccines in the past.
- Your patient has received any vaccine other than the COVID-19 vaccine in the past 14 days.
- Your patient currently has a lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection or is under quarantine from a lab-confirmed positive test.
- Your patient is currently under quarantine due to a close contact exposure in the past 14 days.
- Your patient is having COVID-like symptoms, including fever/chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, cough, congestion/runny nose, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, loss of sense of smell or taste.
- Your patient has a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- The ingredients are: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1- diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N- ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.
- MiraLax is a common form of polyethylene glycol.
- Your patient has received a COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere.
- Your patient had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- If your patient is pregnant or breastfeeding, they should consult with their OB before obtaining a vaccination.
Yes, we will be offering COVID-19 vaccine to inpatients who meet the age and condition requirements and if the vaccine is medically appropriate. Admitted patients who are 18 years of age will be offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If a patient declines a Johnson & Johnson vaccine and requests a Pfizer vaccine, they can be added to our Children’s National vaccine waitlist. Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved for patients 18 years of age and older. Patients age 16 and 17 will be added to our waitlist to receive a Pfizer vaccine. There is no approved vaccine for children under the age 16.
Some logistics of administering the vaccine require us to know who is coming and when. The vaccine is only good for a certain amount of time once it is thawed or diluted and patients must be monitored for 15 minutes following vaccination for adverse reactions.
We strongly recommend that patients receive both doses of vaccine at Children’s National. We want to ensure that patients are appropriately vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 infection. Health Departments also expect us to complete the vaccination series for all patients who receive vaccinations from us.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have a range of days in which the second dose of vaccine can be administered. If patients miss that time frame, they do not need to restart the series and should receive the second dose as soon as possible. This may depend on availability of vaccine at that time.
The Pfizer vaccine requires a second dose 21 days after the first. The Moderna vaccine requires a second dose 28 days after the first. The second dose must be the same manufacturer as their first.
Due to limited supply, your patient will not be able to choose which vaccine they receive at this time.
Patients are monitored for adverse reactions for 15 minutes following the vaccination. If the patient experiences a life-threatening reaction after that 15 minutes, the caregiver should call 9-1-1. If the patient experiences a non-life-threatening reaction after that 15 minutes, they should contact their primary care provider for medical advice. If you are contacted for advice by a patient or caregiver about a moderate to severe vaccine reaction or an unusual vaccine reaction, please report the reaction using the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System co- managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Yes, the CDC recommends continuing safety precautions: masking, social distancing and hand washing for everyone regardless of whether they’ve received the vaccine.
It is unknown how long the vaccine will protect your patient. Pfizer and Moderna will follow their clinical trial participants for at least a year and will be able to provide information about lasting protection in the future.
General Vaccine Information
Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines do not inject or produce the COVID-19 virus in your body. Instead, they use an mRNA molecule that instructs your cells to make a copy of a harmless protein that is on the outer shell of the COVID-19 virus. When your immune system detects this protein, it begins to produce antibodies as if the body has been infected. The antibodies will help your immune system fight off future COVID-19 infections.
Pfizer and Moderna have reported no serious safety concerns from their vaccines. All study participants have been followed for at least 2 months after getting vaccinated to look for side effects and will continue to be followed for 1-2 years in total. Some participants have reported sore arms, fatigue, fever and joint and muscle aches that last for a day or two. It is important to know that if you experience any of these reactions, that this is normal and means the vaccine is working.
Almost 74,000 adults participated in Pfizer and Moderna's clinical trials. Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported that their vaccines are more than 94% effective at protecting you against having COVID-19 disease with symptoms.
Both clinical trials included diverse participants; approximately every 4 out of 10 participants was non-white. In Pfizer's clinical trial, the participants were 4.5% Asian, 10% Black, 26.1% Hispanic/Latinx, 0.8% Native American, and 67% White. In Moderna's clinical trial, the participants were 4% Asian, 10% Black, 20% Hispanic/Latinx, 3% Other, and 63% White. Read more about Pfizer's clinical trial participants. Read more about Moderna's clinical trial participants.
Adults over age 65 were included in all three clinical trials. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's clinical trials included participants as young as 18. Pfizer's clinical trial included participants as young as 16.
Pfizer and Moderna are currently conducting phase 3 clinical trials on their vaccines with children as young as 12 years old but have not requested FDA approval for use in younger children yet.