Fact Finders: Routine vaccines and the COVID vaccine

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 6:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Now that kids as young as 12 can get the COVID-19 vaccine, can they get their other routine childhood vaccinations at the same time or is there a waiting period?

Initially, the CDC’s guidance was for kids to wait 14 days before getting any other vaccinations. Quickly, that recommendation was dropped saying other vaccines may be given at the same time as the COVID vaccine. So, what is the reasoning behind this change?

Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center said at first not much was known about possible interactions with other routine shots. Simply, the research had not yet been done. So, in what Dr. Elliott thinks was an overabundance of caution, they suggested waiting 14 days. However, now he says we have safety data and outcomes data. He says there’s also the worry that if kids have to wait to get other vaccines many may not get them before the school year starts.

”To miss those because of the challenges in scheduling is a big threat,” said Dr. Elliott. “That’s a big part of saying, ‘Hey, it’s OK. Get everybody. They’re in the office right now, immunize, immunize, immunize.’”

Dr. Elliott said, in full transparency, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is still debating this. That group gives advice to the CDC and Dr. Elliott says it’s the final safety sign-off.

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