What Parents Need to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine for Young Children
COVID-19 vaccine approval for children ages 5-11 has been much anticipated. And now that it is here, parents are scrambling to get their children vaccinated. But some have very valid questions that we felt important to address.
As of last week, there was approximately 107,000 new child COVID-19-19 cases reported. This number is up from about 101,000 cases. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) report that COVID-19-19 cases among children remain “extremely high” with pediatric cases remaining above 100,000 for the 13th week in a row.
Here are six of the top questions parents have on the vaccine.
Six Top Questions Parents Have About the COVID-19 Vaccine
- Is the vaccine safe? Yes, the vaccine is safe and effective at protecting against COVID-19 in children and adults ages 5 and up. Most children had no side effects from the vaccine and there were no cases of severe allergic reactions either.
- Is there a risk of myocarditis from the vaccine? In rare cases, there is an increased risk of developing myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart, particularly in men ages 16-29. However, getting sick with the virus poses an increased risk of developing myocarditis. Therefore there is a greater risk of getting myocarditis if sick with COVID-19 than from the vaccine. There were no reported cases of myocarditis in children ages 5-11 during the trial.
- Does the vaccine affect fertility? There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility. However, becoming sick with the virus may affect fertility. Any infection – especially those that cause a high fever – can affect sperm production and ovulation temporarily. In addition, women who are pregnant or recently gave birth have a higher chance of contracting COVID-19. There also wasn’t an increased risk of having a miscarriage if receiving the vaccine while pregnant. And the vaccine is also recommended for women who are lactating as the vaccine does not contain a live virus, so it does not pose a risk to the baby.
- If my child is almost 12, should I wait so they can get the adult dose? According to Pfizer, the 10mg dose of the vaccine given to children ages 5-11 is just as effective as the 30mg dose given to older kids and adults. A smaller dose works in kids because their immune system is more robust than that of adults. The AAP suggests that If your child turns 12 between their first and second dose to stick with the lower, 10-microgram dose for both shots.
- Why should a child receive the vaccine if they don’t get as sick as adults? While most children do not experience severe reactions from COVID-19, they can still develop short and long-term side effects, such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Some children do get hospitalized and children can pass the virus onto others – particularly people who are more susceptible to having a serious reaction.
- Can I give my child an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or ibuprofen before they receive the vaccine? The CDC does not recommend giving children any pain relievers prior to receiving the vaccine because it is not known how this may affect the vaccine.
The fastest path toward normalcy is for everyone to get the vaccination. Variants will continue to develop as people refuse to receive the vaccine. As cases drop across the country, mask mandates will be lifted. We all deserve to return to a more open and less restrictive life. This is one proven way to help make this a reality. If you’d like to schedule your child for the COVID-19 vaccine, join our waitlist. You can join by clicking here.