COVID-19 has been plaguing the world since the end of 2019. Originating from China, the pandemic has affected billions over the last 2 years and millions of people lost their lives. Since this situation was declared a pandemic, the COVID-19 vaccine has been rolled out first to senior citizens and front-line workers, then to the adult population and now to children. Parents want to know what to expect with COVID-19 vaccines for children and if they are safe.
With the reopening of schools and life returning to ‘normal’ outings and socializing, parents are looking to the vaccine for options. Although the virus affects children mostly with less severe symptoms, children are getting infected, and spreading it to others.
To help prevent COVID-19, the CDC advises that everyone aged 5 and above receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is a crucial instrument in the fight against the pandemic. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is available to children aged 5 and above.
|Authorized For||Pfizer-BioNTech||Moderna||J&J / Janssen|
|4 yrs and under||No||No||No|
|5-11 yrs old||Yes||No||No|
|12-17 yrs old||Yes||No||No|
|18 yrs and older||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Is the Vaccine Safe for Children?
Scientists completed extensive research before suggesting COVID-19 vaccination for children. The FDA granted emergency approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 15, as well as full approval for persons aged 16 and above.
The FDA will take the following steps to ensure the efficacy as well as safety of the vaccines for children:
Necessary Trials with Follow-up
According to vaccine manufacturers, important clinical trials including children as volunteers are currently underway. Some have indicated that they are still enrolling children, while others have stated that they are still delivering dosages or tracking them. Following the delivery of vaccine doses to at least half of the clinical trial vaccination recipients, this method is intended to include a two-month follow-up phase to allow for adequate safety monitoring.
Once the relevant section of the clinical trials is over, the manufacturers must analyze the data from the studies to determine how safe the vaccine is and how well it performs in clinical trial participants. The FDA will collaborate closely with each manufacturer to ensure that the data analysis is thorough and compliant with regulatory requirements. After analyzing their clinical trial results, manufacturers will assemble the data and submit it for approval and authorization.
The FDA will carefully, completely, and independently analyze the data to evaluate benefits and hazards after receiving a completed request for EUA or approval. The agency will be prepared to finish its evaluation as fast as feasible, presumably in a matter of weeks rather than months.
Possible Side Effects for Children
For children above 5 years of age, vaccination could lead to some possible side effects which are completely normal reactions of the body to the vaccine. They might feel some pain, swelling and redness on the arm they have received the shot. Other than that, they might suffer from tiredness, headache, muscle pain, fever, chills, and nausea. Consult your child’s doctor if symptoms persist. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2021)
After 3 weeks, your child will require a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. To find a vaccine for your child, check with your local pharmacy for walk-in availability or appointments. Check with your healthcare provider or contact your local health department for additional resources.
As parents and caregivers, we are working hard to bring you the most recent findings on COVID-19 vaccines for children.
“Covid-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/children-teens.html
Commissioner, Office of the. “FDA Will Follow the Science on Covid-19 Vaccines for Young Children.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 2021, www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-will-follow-science-covid-19-vaccines-young-children.