What Parents Should Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine For 5- to 11-Year-Olds

MONDAY, Nov. eight, 2021

A COVID-19 vaccine has finally arrived for youngsters ages 5 to 11 – and with it, some important inquiries from dad and mom.

Numerous are questioning about protection, stated Dr. Donna Curtis, a pediatric infectious sickness specialist at Kid’s Clinic Colorado in Aurora. Other individuals are inquiring no matter whether the coronavirus is enough of a menace to their child to demand a vaccine.

Listed here are answers that may possibly aid.

What is the vaccine, and the place can I get it?

It is a single-3rd of the dose of the Pfizer vaccine that has been given to adults considering that December 2020 and adolescents twelve and up considering that Might. Tens of hundreds of thousands of People in america have obtained Pfizer’s vaccine, and it can be regarded pretty secure.

Data presented to the Food items and Drug Administration confirmed the new dose was ninety.seven% successful at protecting against symptomatic COVID-19 in 5- to 11-12 months-olds.

The vaccine is staying dispersed as a result of pediatricians, pharmacies and other individuals, with programs to scale up to entire capability starting Nov. eight, according to a Centers for Disorder Regulate and Prevention information release. Destinations are stated at vaccines.gov. As with adults and adolescents, young youngsters will require a next dose three months afterwards.

Does my child even require a vaccine for COVID-19?

“We really don’t feel of youngsters as the greatest-possibility team,” stated Curtis, who has finished analysis on vaccines in immunocompromised youngsters. Even so, according to knowledge reviewed by the CDC’s advisory panel on vaccines, as of Oct. ten, virtually 2 million 5- to 11-12 months-olds have gotten unwell from COVID-19, and ninety four have died.

COVID-19 also has been joined to multisystem inflammatory syndrome in youngsters, or MIS-C, a problem that leads to inflammation of the coronary heart, brain and other organs. As of early October, a lot more than 5,200 youngsters experienced been identified with MIS-C, and 46 died, according to CDC knowledge.

A vaccine goes outside of supplying safety to the child who receives it, Curtis stated. It can prevent the distribute of the sickness to close by youngsters and family members associates, some of whom may possibly have ailments that place them at larger possibility for severe ailment from COVID-19. Individuals ailments include being overweight, diabetes, weakened immune systems and congenital coronary heart problems.

The prospect that a child will establish severe COVID-19 that needs hospitalization or establish MIS-C stays lower, “but however the possibility is way too large and way too devastating to our youngsters, and significantly larger than for lots of other ailments for which we vaccinate youngsters,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky informed the agency’s advisory panel before it reviewed protection knowledge on Tuesday.

What are doable facet outcomes from the vaccine?

Popular facet outcomes include discomfort, redness and inflammation at the injection internet site. Some youngsters experienced fevers, exhaustion, overall body aches, complications, chills or swollen lymph nodes – equivalent to what transpires in adults.

Amid the 3,109 youngsters in the medical demo that evaluated the Pfizer vaccine in this age team, there had been no severe facet outcomes, the Food and drug administration stated in granting unexpected emergency use authorization.

What about the possibility of coronary heart difficulties, these as myocarditis and pericarditis?

Even though no circumstances had been witnessed in the medical demo, myocarditis and pericarditis – inflammation of the coronary heart muscle mass or its lining – has been a uncommon facet effect in other groups, significantly in adolescent and young men who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

That problem influenced a small percentage of persons who had been vaccinated, Curtis stated. The Food and drug administration utilised statistical modeling to predict the threats of coronary heart swelling in 5- to 11-12 months-olds and concluded the over-all advantages of obtaining vaccinated significantly outweighed the possibility.

As a parent, Curtis stated she understands coronary heart swelling appears scary. “But generally, these are gentle to moderate diseases,” she stated. Clients are hospitalized, given ibuprofen or a equivalent drug, and go dwelling in a couple of days, generally with no extensive-time period difficulties.

The possibility of myocarditis from COVID-19 by itself, she stated, is a lot larger.

My child previously experienced COVID-19. Is vaccination however required?

“The advice is yes,” Curtis stated. Immunity can wane with time. “We hear about it a lot more when we converse about vaccines, but we have witnessed the precise thing with coronavirus an infection.” A vaccine can enhance their immune response and aid stop upcoming infections.

Most of my child’s classmates are obtaining vaccinated. Can I just count on herd immunity?

“I really don’t feel that is a secure thing to believe,” Curtis stated. Vaccinated persons are considerably less probably to get unwell, are guarded from severe ailment and feel considerably less probably to distribute the sickness. But they can however get infected, and they can however be contagious.

Also, an unvaccinated child would be at possibility for catching the coronavirus from an adult outside the house of university, Curtis stated. “So I feel the only way to maximally defend your child is to get them vaccinated.”

What can I do to defend my youngsters who are way too young to be vaccinated?

“You can defend them by obtaining all people in the house vaccinated,” Curtis stated, and by generating certain their caregivers are vaccinated, way too. It is identified as “cocooning,” she stated – encompassing the persons who can not be vaccinated with persons who are.

In the meantime, persons also ought to continue steps these as social distancing, carrying masks indoors in general public for these ages 2 and more mature, washing fingers and keeping away from larger-possibility places.

What other variables ought to I be weighing?

By preserving a child from staying unwell, a vaccine guards an whole family’s very well-staying, Curtis stated. “We are protecting against the parent from getting to choose time off from function, the child from missing university. We are protecting against them from possible hospitalization” and extensive-time period issues these as the at times debilitating indications that occur with “extensive COVID.”

Children can simply distribute ailments to adults, Curtis stated. “So the reward to vaccinating youngsters is large.”

The CDC advisory panel was informed that vaccinating youngsters in this age team would aid stop about 600,000 COVID-19 circumstances between November and up coming March.

How can I get ready my child for their vaccination?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a website page entire of strategies these as talking about the practical experience in optimistic conditions and reminding youngsters that vaccines keep persons healthful.

Should really a parent experience nervous ideal now? Or joyful?

“This is anything that I have been ready for, for a pretty extensive time,” stated Curtis, who has two youngsters, ages nine and 11. “And I am pretty enthusiastic about it.”

COVID-19 can be severe in this age team, she stated. “For me, the alternative is distinct that the vaccine is so a lot safer than my youngsters obtaining the coronavirus. And it can be also a way that I can aid defend their buddies and aid defend other persons in our family members.”

American Heart Association Information addresses coronary heart and brain overall health. Not all views expressed in this story mirror the official posture of the American Heart Association. Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all legal rights are reserved. If you have inquiries or feedback about this story, remember to email [email protected].

By Michael Merschel

American Heart Association Information

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