OHA expert answers your questions about COVID-19 vaccines
Dr. Paul Cieslak, medical director for communicable diseases and immunizations at Oregon Health Authority, answered today’s questions. We’ll continue to answer your questions on COVID-19 topics in upcoming newsletters.
Q: If my 4-year-old child starts their COVID-19 vaccine series and then quickly turns 5, what dose should they get next? – from OHA’s Facebook page
A: “Your child should receive the dose recommended for the age they are on the day of vaccination. In your child’s case, if they receive the Moderna vaccine, the doses for 4- and 5-year-olds are the same. If they receive the Pfizer vaccine, the dose for 4-year-olds is different than it is for 5-year-olds. So if a child turn 5 before completing Pfizer’s three-dose primary series, they would then receive the dose, or doses, for 5-year-olds to complete the series. Here are the vaccine dose guides for Pfizer and Moderna when children transition from one age group to the next.”
Q: Do you know if and when the Novavax vaccine will become available in Oregon? My husband and I would really like to get it, whether as a booster or to start over with a series. – Mary, Corvallis
A: “I’m afraid not. Earlier this month the advisory committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine be granted Emergency Use Authorization for adults (age 18 and older); but the agency has yet to grant this authorization. We are waiting for its decision. If the FDA grants authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must then sign off. If that happens, the Novavax vaccine should be available in Oregon shortly thereafter.”
Q: I’ve had the initial series and a booster. If I get a second booster now, how long would it be before I can get boosted in the fall? I’m deciding whether to get the booster now or wait until the new booster is available. I had COVID-19 in late April with mild symptoms. I’d like to have the fall booster before late October. – Susan, Portland
A: “No authorization for third boosters has yet been granted, so we do not know whether or when a third booster will be recommended. Moreover, vaccines using newer variants are being studied by Moderna and Pfizer, so it’s possible that the next recommendation for boosters might be with a new vaccine. The FDA’s advisory committee was scheduled to meet today, June 28, to discuss how to approach the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines. You can read about that meeting and watch the video here.”
If you have questions about topics related to COVID-19, submit your question here. While we are unable to answer every question, we try to address questions that may be of interest to a broader audience. Please understand we are unable to provide specific medical advice for personal medical conditions.