All 5 of our Pediatricenter offices are now able to provide the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine to patients 12 years of age and older, and will soon be able to vaccinate our 5-11 year old patients. 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. Once the vaccine is available for the 5-11 year old group, we will call you back in the order your call was received to set up an appointment to get your child vaccinated!
All of us at Pediatricenter are following the recent news that the FDA voted to grant emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 years old. On November 2nd, the CDC will consider the data and hopefully grant this vaccine approval. Here are answers to some common questions we are being asked about the vaccine 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.
Also, here is a great resource from UH Rainbow regarding masking for our kids UHRainbow.org/masking.
As of May 12, 2021, UH has started scheduling appointments for all individuals ages 12 and older to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments are required and can be made by calling one of several numbers: 216-983-0012, 216-930-0106, or 216-400-0429. An information sheet about COVID-19 vaccine scheduling can be found at UHRainbow.org/Vaccine and the consent form for patients aged 12-17 can be found at UH COVID-19 Consent Form.
If you call Pediatricenter, please be patient with our screening questions. As always, we will continue to see anyone for well and sick visits that successfully passes through these questions. Please be aware you and/or your child may be required to wear a mask. We also have a new check in procedure, in which we ask you to calll the office upon your arrival, one of our staff will complete the check-in process over the phone, and we will let you know when you may come into the office. These are precautions to keep everyone safe.
For up to date, factual news about the situation, or if you have specific questions about the illness as it pertains to you or your family, please look to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) websites or call the ODH hotline below:
You can also visit the University Hospitals website for more local information:
or call 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634)
And, of course, remember to follow the usual illness prevention steps at the CDC website below.