COVID-19 Vaccine for kids: What parents need to know

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Healthy Living | COVID-19 Disease Prevention, Control, and Treatment | Why give COVID-19 Vaccines to Kids?

Public Health care Education

COVID-19 Vaccine for kids: What parents need to know

Parents are concerned about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for kids

Following the release of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, so many questions for paediatricians have been rolling in on what parents need to know.

Since COVID-19 vaccines became available to anyone age 12 and up in May 2021, millions of adolescents have been safely vaccinated. Now, children 5 to 11 years old can get vaccinated, too.

Whether you’re the parent of a teen or a grade-school age child, you likely have questions about the vaccine. And top-of-mind for many parents is how we know that it is safe for kids.

While many parents are simply deliberating where they can find the long-awaited vaccine close by and fast, some others are concerned about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in kids.

Watch Video: COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Do kids need COVID-19 Vaccines?

Many parents could be asking if their kids really need the COVID-19 vaccine since there hasn’t been any serious concern with regards to infection and transmission with children compared to those of adults.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, at least 94 children ages 5 to 11 have died from COVID-19, more than 8,300 have been hospitalized and more than 5,000 have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to the virus.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious diseases expert, said at a recent White House briefing that while kids are less likely than adults to develop severe COVID-19, with the delta variant they get infected and transmit the infection just as readily as adults do.

Is the vaccine safe for Kids?

One of the things parents need to know as paediatricians give some advice based on some questions many parents continue to ask with respect to the safety of the vaccine is for children

Dr Adriana Cadilla, a paediatric infectious disease specialist at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida said that the vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11. This was also confirmed by a mother of children ages  6 and 8 who were vaccinated  Saturday.

Cadilla further said that she and most paediatricians are commending the vaccine for their patients. “This is how we save lives,” she said. “We administer vaccines, we promote vaccines, and we would not recommend something that we wouldn’t do for our own child.”

The vaccine was almost 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections in children – Pfizer

In approving the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use in children between the age of  5 to 11, The Food and Drug Administration said that the only Covid vaccine confirmed for kids in the U.S.  was 90.7 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid.

A Pfizer study of 2,268 children found the vaccine was almost 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections. The Food and Drug Administration studied the shots in 3,100 vaccinated kids in concluding the shots are safe since there were no serious side effects in the 3,100 children studied who were vaccinated with it. Over 360,000 US kids have had the COVID vaccine at the time of this report.

Side Effects of Vaccination of Kids revealed

The commonly reported side effects were arm pain, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, chills, fever and nausea, and most effects went away within a couple of days, the FDA said.

Dr Adriana Cadilla, regarding the vaccines for kids as safe, said that the side effects seen with a vaccine were mild in comparison to the acute COVID symptoms.

Why is the vaccine based on a child’s age?

Many parents are used to giving medication based on their child’s weight. Why does a tiny 5-year-old get the same vaccine dose as a much bigger 11-year-old?

Why is the vaccine based on a child’s age? Vaccination for kids is now available for children aged 5 to 12. A vaccine has been available for children and adolescents aged 12 and up since May 2021. Vaccines for children age 6 months and up may be authorized next. Clinical trials are underway for children aged 6 months to under 5 years old.

Before COVID-19 vaccines become available for children under age 5, clinical trials need to be completed. This is to ensure they are safe and effective for these age groups. Children are not little adults; we can’t just assume a vaccine will have the same effect on a child as it does for someone older. Once information is available for children 6 months to 5 years old, the AAP will review it and make vaccine recommendations.

Many parents are used to giving medication based on their child’s weight. Why does a tiny 5-year-old get the same vaccine dose as a much bigger 11-year-old?

Is there a risk of myocarditis from the vaccine?

Would one suffer from myocarditis from the vaccine? No cases of heart inflammation known as myocarditis or pericarditis were recorded in the Pfizer trial of children 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been intermittent cases, mostly in male teens and young adults, and these patients can be treated with medicine and recuperate speedily.

 Dr Gigi Chawla, chief of general paediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, said that the risk of heart inflammation from having Covid is actually a much greater threat, “Myocarditis is part of the sickness that can be experienced by people with Covid-19,” she said. “The rates of people having myocarditis associated with sickness versus vaccine are far greater for sickness. So if a family truly is anxious about myocarditis, they should be immunized.”

Does the vaccine affect fertility?

According to Dr Anna Sick-Samuels, an assistant professor of paediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, who has a 4-year-old, she would vaccinate if she could. In her words and I quote “I don’t know that there’s any reason to believe that Covid vaccination would have any impact on fertility,”

“There’s no clear biologic link that the vaccine would even have,” she said. “There’s not a general reason that, or theory why, a vaccine of any kind should have an impact on fertility.”

On the other hand, doctors do know that unvaccinated pregnant women can have possibly serious impediments from Covid, Sick-Samuels said.

Warning for the unvaccinated pregnant women

“We’ve seen that women who are pregnant and get Covid infection are actually more likely to have complications and preterm delivery and challenges, unfortunately, with their pregnancy and neonatal course,” she said. “And we know that the vaccine is really helpful in preventing those types of complications.”

Biden pushing schools to provide vaccines for kids

The US President Joe Biden’s administration is encouraging local school districts to host clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to kids – and let parents know on the benefits of the shots – as the White House looks to promptly provide vaccines to those schoolchildren ages 5 to 11.

At the same time, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona have begun sending a letter to school districts across the country calling on them to organize vaccine clinics for their newly eligible students, reminding school districts that they can access billions of dollars in federal coronavirus relief money to support paediatric vaccination efforts. The White House says the federal government has procured enough of the two-dose vaccine for all of them.

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US First lady Jill Biden launches a nationwide campaign to promote child vaccination for kids

First lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy are set to visit the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, on Monday to launch a nationwide campaign to promote vaccination for kids. The school was the first to administer the polio vaccine in 1954.

President Biden-led administration is urging schools to host community conversations and share fact sheets on the vaccines and is working with the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) to partner local physicians with schools aiming to share science-based information about the shots.


Biden will visit paediatric vaccination clinics across the country to encourage the shots.

The Biden administration is providing local school districts with tools to help schools partner with pharmacies to administer shots. And it’s asking schools to share information on the benefits of vaccines and details about the vaccination process with parents, in an effort to combat disinformation surrounding the shots.

The visit comes just days after federal regulators recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for kids of the age group. About 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 are newly eligible for shots now that the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the age group.

This blog content on ‘COVID-19 Disease Prevention and Control for Healthy Living: COVID-19 Vaccine for kids: What parents need to know ’ is categorized under Public Health care Education.

Our Public Health care Education System is about creating and delivering impacting, and empowering problem-solving information towards enhancing prevention and control of COVID-19 spread to our amiable readers for better healthy and sustainable livelihood – Eduonwheels.

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