Coronavirus sickness 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are now available to youngsters ages five and up in the U.S. Here is what parents and little ones need to know about the safety and success of the vaccine, the attainable facet outcomes, and the rewards of having vaccinated.

If youngsters will not frequently encounter serious disease with COVID-19, why do they need a COVID-19 vaccine?

A COVID-19 vaccine can prevent your little one from having and spreading the virus that leads to COVID-19.

If your little one receives COVID-19, a COVID-19 vaccine could prevent him or her from starting to be severely unwell or suffering from short-term or prolonged-term complications. Young children with other wellbeing conditions, this sort of as being overweight, diabetes and bronchial asthma, could possibly be at higher threat of significant disease with COVID-19.

Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine can also aid hold your little one in college and more safely have playdates and take part in sports activities and other group functions.

What COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for little ones in the U.S.?

In the U.S., COVID-19 vaccines are available to youngsters by age group:

  • Ages five through 11. The U.S. Food items and Drug Administration (Fda) has offered unexpected emergency use authorization to a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. This vaccine entails two injections, offered a few months aside. It is made up of a reduced dose than the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine made use of for men and women age twelve and more mature. Exploration exhibits that this vaccine is about ninety one% helpful in stopping COVID-19 in youngsters ages five through 11.
  • Ages twelve through 15. The Fda has offered unexpected emergency use authorization to a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. This vaccine entails two injections, offered a few months aside. It is made up of the same dose as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for men and women ages 16 and more mature. The 2nd dose can be offered up to six months after the initial dose, if needed. Exploration has demonstrated that this vaccine is one hundred% helpful in stopping COVID-19 in youngsters ages twelve through 15.
  • Ages 16 and more mature. The Fda has authorized a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now termed Comirnaty, for this age group. This vaccine entails two injections, offered a few months aside. The 2nd dose can be offered up to six months after the initial dose, if needed. This vaccine is ninety one% helpful in stopping serious disease with COVID-19 in men and women age 16 and more mature. Early exploration also implies that the vaccine is 96% helpful at stopping serious sickness with COVID-19 brought on by the delta variant, the most popular COVID-19 variant in the U.S ideal now.

How did the Fda identify the safety and success of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for use in little ones?

For little ones ages five through 11, the Fda reviewed a vaccine review of more than 4,600 youngsters in this age variety. Of this group, about 3,one hundred had been offered the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The other youngsters had been offered an inactive (placebo) shot. Young children who had been offered the vaccine had been monitored for facet outcomes for at least two months after the 2nd dose. Side outcomes had been generally mild to moderate.

The Fda also took an early search at conditions of COVID-19 that occurred a person 7 days after youngsters had been offered a 2nd dose of the vaccine. None of the youngsters in this examination experienced been beforehand identified with COVID-19. Amongst 1,305 youngsters offered the vaccine, there had been 3 conditions of COVID-19. Amongst 663 youngsters offered the placebo, there had been 16 conditions of COVID-19. The benefits propose that the vaccine is about ninety one% helpful in stopping COVID-19 in this age group.

For little ones ages twelve through 15, the Fda reviewed a vaccine review of more than two,two hundred U.S. youngsters in this age variety. Of this group, about 50 percent had been offered the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The other youngsters had been offered a placebo shot.

A 7 days after the 2nd dose was offered, there had been no conditions of COVID-19 in the 1,005 youngsters offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Amongst 978 youngsters offered the placebo, there had been 16 conditions of COVID-19. None of the youngsters experienced beforehand been identified with COVID-19. The benefits propose that the vaccine is one hundred% helpful at stopping COVID-19 in this age group.

What are the facet outcomes of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for little ones?

Young children offered the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines experienced facet outcomes equivalent to these professional by men and women age 16 and more mature. The most usually documented facet outcomes include things like:

  • Soreness wherever the shot was offered
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle mass suffering
  • Fever
  • Joint suffering
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite

Comparable to grown ups, youngsters have facet outcomes inside two times after vaccination that normally previous 1 to 3 times. Far more youngsters documented these facet outcomes, except for injection web-site suffering, after the 2nd dose of the vaccine. However, some men and women have no facet outcomes.

Just after your little one is offered a COVID-19 vaccine, he or she will be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes to see if he or she has an allergic reaction that involves cure.

It just isn’t advised that you give your little one an in excess of-the-counter suffering reliever in advance of vaccination to prevent facet outcomes. It is really Alright to give this sort of medication after your little one receives a COVID-19 vaccine.

Can COVID-19 vaccines have an affect on the heart?

In the U.S., there has been an increase in documented conditions of myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, specially in males ages twelve through seventeen. Myocarditis is the irritation of the heart muscle mass, although pericarditis is the irritation of the lining outside the heart. These stories are uncommon. A person review implies that the threat of myocarditis in the 7 days after remaining completely vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is about 54 conditions for each million doses offered to males ages twelve to seventeen.

Of the conditions documented, the trouble occurred more generally after the 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and normally inside quite a few times after COVID-19 vaccination. Most of the men and women who obtained treatment swiftly felt much better after receiving medication and resting. Signs to view for include things like:

  • Upper body suffering
  • Shortness of breath
  • Thoughts of acquiring a quickly-beating, fluttering or pounding heart

If you or your little one has any of these indicators inside a 7 days of having a COVID-19 vaccine, seek health-related treatment.

Is there any exploration on the prolonged-term outcomes of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines?

For the reason that COVID-19 vaccine scientific trials only begun in the summer time of 2020, it is not however apparent if the vaccines will have prolonged-term outcomes. However, vaccines hardly ever trigger prolonged-term outcomes.

A portion of the youngsters in each age group had been monitored for safety for at least two months after remaining offered the 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As component of its initial ask for for unexpected emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2020, Pfizer Inc. designed a safety monitoring strategy. The strategy now involves the monitoring of youngsters and adolescents offered the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, in the U.S. all vaccination companies are required to report significant adverse activities, this sort of as allergic reactions, to a countrywide plan termed the Vaccine Adverse Celebration Reporting Procedure.

How do the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines do the job?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA). Scientists have been studying mRNA vaccines for a long time.

Coronaviruses have a spikelike framework on their area termed an S protein. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions to immune cells for how to make a harmless piece of an S protein. Just after vaccination, cells start out earning the protein pieces and exhibiting them on cell surfaces. The immune procedure acknowledges the protein and commences developing an immune response and earning antibodies. Just after delivering instructions, the mRNA is straight away broken down. It by no means enters the nucleus of the cell, wherever DNA is stored.

Is there any change in the substances or dosing of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for younger youngsters, more mature youngsters or grown ups?

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages five through 11 is made up of a reduced dose (ten micrograms) than the vaccine made use of for more mature youngsters and grown ups (30 micrograms). Smaller needles are remaining made use of to deliver the vaccine to youngsters ages five through 11.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for youngsters ages five through 11 also is made up of a distinct buffer than the vaccine made use of for more mature youngsters and grown ups. This distinct buffer, which is made use of in other
Fda-authorized vaccines, will aid hold the vaccine secure in refrigerated temperatures for for a longer period.

The substances and dosing of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are the same for youngsters ages twelve through 15 and men and women age 16 and more mature.

Are there any youngsters who shouldn’t get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine?

This vaccine is not however available to youngsters younger than age five. Clinical trials involving younger youngsters are in progress.

The vaccine also shouldn’t be offered to a little one with a acknowledged record of a serious allergic reaction to any of its substances. If this is the circumstance, your little one could possibly be able to get an additional COVID-19 vaccine in the upcoming.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine give a little one COVID-19?

No. The COVID-19 vaccines at the moment remaining made in the U.S. will not use the reside virus that leads to COVID-19.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine have an affect on fertility or menstruation?

There is no evidence that any COVID-19 vaccines trigger fertility troubles.

A modest number of ladies have documented suffering from temporary menstrual modifications after having a COVID-19 vaccine. A modest review has also demonstrated that some ladies professional temporary menstrual modifications after having COVID-19. It is not apparent if having COVID-19 or a COVID-19 vaccine leads to these modifications. Further exploration is needed.

Keep in thoughts that quite a few matters can have an affect on menstrual cycles, together with infections, tension, slumber troubles and modifications in diet or training.

Can youngsters who get COVID-19 encounter prolonged-term outcomes?

Any person who has experienced COVID-19 can produce a put up-COVID-19 issue. Exploration implies that youngsters with both equally mild and serious COVID-19 have professional prolonged-term indicators. The most popular indicators in youngsters include things like:

  • Tiredness or tiredness
  • Headache
  • Issues sleeping
  • Issues concentrating
  • Muscle mass and joint suffering
  • Cough

These indicators could have an affect on your child’s capacity to show up at college or do his or her usual functions. If your little one is suffering from prolonged-term indicators, take into account talking to your child’s teachers about his or her requires.

How can youngsters get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Seek the advice of your community wellbeing office, pharmacy or your child’s medical professional for details on wherever your little one can get a COVID-19 vaccine. When earning an appointment for your little one to get a COVID-19 vaccine, take into account inquiring these inquiries:

  • Does a father or mother or guardian need to be existing at the appointment?
  • What details will need to be offered all through the appointment?
  • Is there a limit on how quite a few family associates, this sort of as siblings, can show up at the appointment?

How soon can a little one get a COVID-19 vaccine in advance of or after having an additional vaccine?

A COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines can be offered on the same working day.

Earlier, due to the newness of COVID-19 vaccines, the CDC experienced advised from having any other vaccines two months in advance of and after having a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC adjusted its suggestion centered on safety info collected in latest months.

Keep in mind, COVID-19 vaccination will defend most men and women from having unwell with COVID-19. If you have inquiries or concerns about your little one having a COVID-19 vaccine, discuss to your kid’s medical professional. He or she could possibly be able to aid you weigh the challenges and rewards.