Must you vaccinate your baby? What to find out about Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for teenagers 5 to 11

Kids are getting COVID vaccine shots now. Make sure you know these tips and facts


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For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

The COVID-19 vaccine program for teenagers ages 5 to 11 is in full swing, with many pharmacies, pediatricians’ places of work, public well being facilities and clinics administrating the coronavirus vaccine to youngsters below 12 after the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention beneficial a coronavirus vaccine for kids firstly of the month. 

Pfizer’s vaccine for teenagers is one-third of an everyday dose, a barely completely different components and given with a smaller needle. It was licensed by the US Meals and Drug Administration after information confirmed an encouraging security profile and excessive effectiveness (90.7%) was reviewed by an impartial committee for the FDA. In an ongoing trial that examined the vaccine in about 3,100 kids ages 5 to 11, no critical negative effects had been reported. 

“We all know hundreds of thousands of fogeys are wanting to get their kids vaccinated, and with this resolution, we now have beneficial that about 28 million kids obtain a COVID-19 vaccine,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned in a press release. “As a mother, I encourage dad and mom with questions to speak to their pediatrician, college nurse or native pharmacist to study extra concerning the vaccine and the significance of getting their kids vaccinated.” 

With inexperienced lights from each the CDC and FDA, dad and mom at the moment are capable of take their kids in for a COVID-19 shot. This is what to anticipate when your baby will get vaccinated towards the coronavirus. 

Do younger youngsters even want a COVID vaccine? 

Kids stay at low danger of extreme COVID-19 illness and dying in contrast with the grownup inhabitants. (Of states that reported information to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 0.1% to 2% of COVID-19 instances in kids resulted in hospitalization.) However kids can expertise problems from COVID-19, together with lengthy COVID and multisystem inflammatory syndrome

Youngsters ages 5 to 11 are additionally no less than as more likely to be contaminated with COVID-19 as adults are, in response to information shared at a gathering of FDA advisers — greater than 1.9 million kids in that age group have been contaminated for the reason that starting of the pandemic. In response to CDC information from Nov. 16, 192 kids ages 5 to 11 have died from COVID-19 within the US. 

There are additionally racial disparities in how sick kids get from COVID-19. Kids ages 5 to 11 who’re Black, Native American or Hispanic are 3 times extra more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than white kids, in response to the presentation. Of kids ages 5 to 11 hospitalized with COVID-19, about one in three would require an ICU admission.

The pandemic has had different results on kids, together with psychological and emotional tolls. In mid-October, the AAP, American Academy of Little one and Adolescent Psychiatry and Kids’s Hospital Affiliation declared a nationwide emergency in baby and adolescent psychological well being, with kids from communities of shade being disproportionately affected. Given the position that in-person studying performs in a baby’s improvement, the CDC prioritized in-person studying for college students this fall, and it has steering on prevention methods colleges ought to use to maintain college students and workers protected. 

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When will youngsters have the ability to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Now that each the FDA and CDC have signed off on COVID-19 pictures for teenagers ages 5 to 11, kids in that age group can get vaccinated. It might have taken a number of days to your native pharmacy or well being clinic to get Pfizer’s vaccine for teenagers in inventory, nonetheless, as a result of it is completely different from Pfizer’s vaccine for everybody else (extra on that beneath). Nevertheless, this week was the deadline from the White Home to have this system “totally up and working,” so the vaccine must be broadly accessible to youngsters ages 5 to 11 proper now. 

Youngsters age 12 and up have been eligible for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for some time. The opposite mRNA vaccine, Moderna, and the one single-dose vaccine on the US market, Johnson & Johnson, aren’t accessible to youngsters but.

The place ought to I am going to get my baby vaccinated? 

The COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers below 12 might be free, identical to it’s for adults, and might be accessible in pediatrician’ss places of work, physician’s places of work, public well being clinics and locations accessible to kids. (Mass vaccination websites that supplied COVID-19 pictures to adults won’t be used as a part of the baby vaccine program.) A very good place to begin could be calling your pediatrician or native well being clinic for a advice on the place to go. 

Mother and father may additionally use this vaccine-finder hyperlink to discover a clinic that has the kid vaccine accessible. 

How is Pfizer’s vaccine for younger youngsters completely different?

Pfizer’s vaccine is one-third the dose of the vaccine given to everybody age 12 and older (but it surely’s nonetheless given in two pictures, three weeks aside). The needle used to manage the vaccine will even be smaller. Moreover, the cap on the vial the vaccine is available in might be orange as a substitute of purple and grey to keep away from mix-ups. 

The components of the vaccine additionally varies barely from the components for adults. Pfizer’s vaccine for teenagers might be saved as much as 10 weeks in a fridge, making it simpler to manage. For extra details about Pfizer’s vaccine for youthful kids, take a look at this truth sheet by the FDA

Ought to I fear about myocarditis? 

Myocarditis and pericarditis, or irritation of the center muscle, is an unusual aspect impact linked to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and is usually seen in adolescent males and males below 30. After information and weighing the dangers of vaccination and advantages of safety from COVID-19, the CDC nonetheless recommends everybody, together with kids as younger as 5, get vaccinated. 

Previous to the CDC’s official advice, specialists that give steering to the company and vote on whether or not to advocate vaccines mentioned the dangers versus advantages for kids as younger as 5 years outdated. Though they don’t have information to point out absolutely the danger of myocarditis for teenagers ages 5 to 11 (drug trials of every kind might not all the time choose up on uncommon negative effects, as a result of it typically takes tons of of hundreds of individuals for one to point out up), specialists famous that baseline myocarditis is far decrease in youngsters ages 5 to 11 than different teams. In contrast, they’ve a a lot increased danger of MIS-C, a probably critical complication of COVID-19. 

“The underside line is that getting COVID is far riskier to the center than something on this vaccine, it doesn’t matter what age or intercourse you’ve got,” Dr. Matthew Oster mentioned after a presentation on myocarditis previous to the CDC’s advice. 

Unwanted side effects in youngsters ages 5 to 11 had been principally gentle and just like the negative effects adults might expertise after vaccination, in response to the CDC

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Sure, dad and mom typically have to consent to their kids receiving medical care, which is able to embody Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. That is very true for youthful kids. 

Nevertheless, you probably have a young person or baby sufficiently old to precise a need to get a COVID-19 vaccine and you have not given consent, they might have authorized precedent to hunt one out, relying on which state you reside in

In Tennessee, the rights of minors versus their dad and mom relating to vaccine selections got here below the highlight final summer time when the state’s vaccine director, Michelle Fiscus, was allegedly fired, partly, for sending out a memo explaining Tennessee’s “mature minor doctrine,” which is the state’s writing on how minors might search medical care with out the consent of their dad and mom in some instances. 

If my baby is immunocompromised or has a well being situation, can they get a 3rd shot? 

A 3rd dose of Pfizer’s vaccine is not licensed or beneficial for immunocompromised kids ages 5 to 11. Moreover, the boosters presently accessible to some People who obtained ModernaPfizer or Johnson & Johnson are just for adults age 18 or older. No minor is eligible for a booster. 

In case your baby is no less than 12 years outdated, “reasonably or severely” immunocompromised and vaccinated with Pfizer, in response to the CDC, they need to get a 3rd dose of Pfizer. Moderna is barely licensed for folks age 18 and older. Examples of people who find themselves immunocompromised embody folks receiving therapy for cancers within the blood or tumors, organ transplant recipients, stem cell transplant recipients, folks with untreated or superior HIV an infection and other people taking medication that would suppress the immune response, per the CDC. 

Does Pfizer’s full FDA approval prolong to youngsters?

The FDA’s approval of the vaccine by Pfizer and its companion, BioNTech, solely applies to folks as younger as 16 years outdated. Whereas Pfizer stays the one vaccine licensed to be used in youngsters as younger as 5 years outdated, vaccinating that age group continues to be below emergency use authorization moderately than whole approval. It is because, together with different components, full FDA approval requires information on how the vaccine fares six months out, per NPR. Pfizer’s vaccine was solely licensed for youngsters age 12 to fifteen in Could. 

Which means that a vaccine mandate that hinges on full approval of a coronavirus vaccine, such because the one introduced for varsity youngsters in California, will not apply to youngsters youthful than 16 for some time.

My baby has allergic reactions. Can they get the vaccine?

“If the kid has a historical past of anaphylaxis or different extreme allergic reactions, then the commentary time after the injection could also be half-hour as a substitute of 15,” Dr. Anne Liu, an infectious illness specialist with Stanford Hospital and Clinics and the Lucile Packard Kids’s Hospital, mentioned in August. So that you is perhaps requested to stay across the ready room along with your baby for an additional quarter-hour so well being care suppliers can monitor vaccine recipients for the (extraordinarily uncommon) allergic response that may happen after any vaccination. 

Moreover, Liu mentioned, kids who’re prescribed an EpiPen for any purpose ought to convey it to their vaccine appointment. 

As for adults, kids with an allergy to an ingredient in Pfizer’s COVID-19 should not take it. Discover a checklist of substances in Pfizer’s vaccine for teenagers ages 5 to 11 on the FDA’s truth sheet

Can my baby get the COVID-19 shot similtaneously different vaccines?

Sure, in response to the CDC, your baby might get different vaccines once they go in for his or her coronavirus shot with out ready 14 days between appointments. Flu pictures might be given to kids age 6 months and older. 

Correction, Oct. 25: A earlier model of this story included a sentence implying incorrect details about accessible vaccines for kids age 12 and older. Solely Pfizer’s vaccine is presently accessible for teenagers ages 12 to 17.

The data contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t supposed as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier concerning any questions you’ll have a few medical situation or well being goals.



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