FACT FINDERS: What COVID protection is there for babies younger than six months?

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 5:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Children ages six months up to five-years-old could soon be authorized for the COVID vaccine; however, if that goes through that still leaves our youngest infants without a vaccine.

So, why were babies younger than six months not included in this latest study and what kinds of protection are available for them?

Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center says vaccines for babies younger than six months are even more highly scrutinized as this is a very fragile patient population.

While we definitely are not in a typical situation with COVID, he said in normal times vaccines are often tested extensively for decades before getting to a good recommendation for that age group. That said, there are ways to get our youngest babies protection.

”The best way to protect babies under six months is to immunize their mothers and that’s been shown to create robust protection to the babies especially if moms are breastfeeding after delivery. So, there are other ways to protect baby under six months other than vaccinating the baby,” he said.

Dr. Elliott says there is now concrete evidence showing if you vaccinate the mom, the baby gets protection through the placenta before birth and through breast milk after delivery. So, while a vaccine for our youngest infants could be a ways away there are still ways to give them protection.

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