Should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine? 7 questions answered

Dr. Debbie-Ann Shirley is an affiliate professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia specializing in pediatric infectious illnesses. Right here she addresses a few of the considerations mother and father might have about their teen or preteen getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

1: Does the vaccine work in adolescents?

Sure, lately launched data from Pfizer-BioNTech exhibits that the COVID-19 vaccine appears to work rather well on this age group. The COVID-19 vaccine was discovered to be 100% efficacious in stopping symptomatic COVID-19 in an ongoing medical trial of youngsters in the U.S. aged 12 to fifteen. Adolescents made high levels of antibody in response to the vaccine, and their immune response was simply as sturdy as what has been seen in older teenagers and younger adults 16-25 years of age.

2: How do I do know whether or not the vaccine is secure for my child?

To this point, the COVID-19 vaccine seems to be secure and properly tolerated in adolescents. All of the COVID-19 vaccines approved to be used in the U.S. have undergone rigorous examine, however we don’t need to assume that youngsters are little adults. Because of this it’s so necessary to check these vaccines simply as fastidiously in youngsters earlier than well being authorities may advocate use. Ongoing research will proceed to comply with vaccinated youngsters intently, and robust safety monitoring will assist quickly establish uncommon or sudden considerations in the event that they emerge.

3: I believed youngsters have been low-risk—do they nonetheless must get the vaccine?

Presently, youngsters characterize practically one-quarter of all new reported weekly COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Whereas severe sickness from COVID-19 is uncommon in youngsters, it does happen—1000’s of youngsters have been hospitalizedm and at least 351 children have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. Some youngsters who get significantly ailing from COVID-19 might have underlying well being circumstances, however not all do. Vaccination will assist defend youngsters from creating severe sickness.

Moreover, since adolescents can transmit COVID-19 to others, vaccinating youngsters might show to be an necessary a part of safely getting again to regular actions of life, together with attending faculty in particular person, taking part in crew sports activities, and spending time with buddies. A large survey of school-aged children confirmed that youngsters in full or partial digital faculty reported decrease ranges of bodily exercise, much less in-person time socializing with buddies, and worse psychological or emotional well being in contrast with these receiving full in-person education. Youngsters are experiencing unprecedented will increase in oblique opposed well being and academic penalties associated to the pandemic, and we have to discover methods to assist them get shortly and safely again to regular life. Vaccination is one among them.

4: What uncomfortable side effects would possibly I count on for my child?

Nonsevere uncomfortable side effects could also be skilled following vaccination. The most commonly reported side effects have been ache and swelling at the injection web site. Different frequent uncomfortable side effects embrace tiredness and headache. Just like younger adults, some adolescents have skilled fever, chills, muscle aches, and joint ache, which can be extra frequent after the second dose. These results are short-lived, nonetheless, and most resolve inside one to 2 days.

Some adolescents may faint when receiving an injection. If it is a concern in your child, let your vaccine administration web site know forward of time—your child will be given the vaccine whereas they’re seated or mendacity all the way down to keep away from accidents from falling.

5: Have there been any extreme reactions amongst youngsters?

(*7*) associated to vaccination have been reported in the Pfizer-BioNTech medical trial. Critical allergic reactions have hardly ever been reported in older individuals. Anybody with a recognized extreme or instant allergy to the vaccine or any element of the vaccine shouldn’t get the vaccine. In case your child has a historical past of any extreme allergic reactions or any sort of instant allergic response to a vaccine or injectable remedy, let the vaccine web site administrator know in order that your child will be monitored for at least 30 minutes after getting the vaccine.

Dad and mom ought to speak to a trusted healthcare supplier or allergist if they’ve particular questions about the risk of an allergic response of their child.

6: When will a COVID-19 vaccine be approved for kids youthful than 12 years?

COVID-19 vaccine makers have begun or are planning to start testing COVID-19 vaccines in youthful youngsters. As extra info turns into accessible, the approved age suggestions might change. Youngsters ages 2-11 years previous may doubtlessly be eligible as early as the end of this year.

7: If I’ve been vaccinated however my child hasn’t, may I nonetheless give the virus to them?

The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live COVID-19 virus, so they can’t trigger COVID-19. Moderately, getting vaccinated will assist defend each you and your youngsters from COVID-19. Research have proven that vaccinated pregnant and lactating moms can move protecting immunity on to their younger infants across the placenta and in breast milk—yet one more good thing about vaccination.

Although researchers are nonetheless studying how properly the vaccine might help forestall unfold, vaccination continues to be an necessary method to restrict infecting people who find themselves not but eligible for the vaccine, like youthful youngsters.