All 5 of our Pediatricenter offices are now able to provide the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine to patients 5 years of age and older. Please call the office of your choice during business hours and follow the instructions on the message to leave your child's name, date of birth, and a good call back number. We will call you back in the order your call was received to set up an appointment to get your child vaccinated!
Here are answers to some common questions we are being asked about the COVID vaccine for children to help you make an informed decision for your child and family.
What is the difference between the vaccine for 5-11 year olds and the vaccine approved for kids ages 12 and up?
The vaccine dose used in the Pfizer trial was 10 micrograms (1/3 the dose used for 12 year olds -adults). This dose was selected as the preferred dose for safety, tolerability and immune response. Almost 2,300 participants received 2 doses, 3 weeks apart. The antibody response seen in these 5-11 year olds was very similar to the antibody response seen in 12-15 year olds, even though younger children were given a smaller vaccine dose. Reviewing the evidence, the FDA concluded that the benefits of this vaccine far outweigh the risks. We agree with this analysis and will be recommending this vaccine to all children who are in this age group.
What were the common side effects of the vaccine in this age group?
There were no severe side effects reported in the children who received the vaccine. Common side effects were arm soreness, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue.
I’ve heard about myocarditis in teenagers who received the vaccine. What is this and should I be concerned about it?
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart. It is generally a rare condition, but can occur in children and young adults, most commonly after a viral infection. Rare cases of myocarditis have been described predominantly in young men after the COVID-19 vaccine; however, these cases have been mild and self-limited. There were no cases of myocarditis among the 5-11 year old children who received the vaccine. It is important to keep in mind that having a COVID-19 infection can also cause myocarditis and those cases are often much more severe and more common than vaccine-associated myocarditis.
Are there any preservatives in this vaccine?
The Pfizer vaccine does not contain any preservatives, eggs, gelatin or latex. It is also free from any metals such as iron, nickel, cobalt, lithium and rare earth alloys.
I’ve heard that kids don’t get as sick as adults from COVID, so it necessary to get my kids vaccinated?
Although fewer children have been sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, they still can get very sick from a COVID-19 infection, as well as spread it to others. Most children have mild symptoms, or have no symptoms (asymptomatic). Some children, however, develop a rare but serious disease linked to COVID-19 called multi-system inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C. Over 11 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have already been given to kids 12-15 years of age. The vaccine is very effective at preventing against serious COVID-19 disease, and the vaccine has shown limited and mild side effects. It’s important to remember that there are risks associated with not being vaccinated. For example, we do not know what the long term risks are for children who contract and fight off COVID-19 infection, and unvaccinated people are still at risk to spread COVID-19 to others.
If you have questions about COVID (including what to do if you or your child have symptoms, if you've been exposed to someone with COVID, etc), please visit the CDC's website for the most up-to-date information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Also, here is a great resource from UH Rainbow regarding masking for our kids UHRainbow.org/masking.