Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

The FDA has approved the PFizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 and up. Similar to adults, this vaccination involves 2 doses 3 weeks apart, however each dose is of a lower strength. According to Mayo Clinic, 5-11 year olds are given a dose of 10 micrograms, which is about a third of what adults are given. Research has shown that the vaccine is 91% effective for children ages 5-11. Children ages 12-15 and teens ages 16-18 are both given the same dose as adults, which has shown to be 100% effective in the former and 96% effective against the delta variant in the latter. (1)

The delta variant has proved to be more transmissible than any other variant to date. Recently, there has been an increase in COVID cases amongst children, which is why it is important for them to also get vaccinated. The minimal side effects of the vaccine most certainly outweigh the long-term effects of the virus itself.

Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine VS Long term Effects of Getting Infected with COVID-19

Side Effects of the COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

  • Side effects of the vaccine for children are similar to adults
  • Only last 1-3 days 
  • Most common reported side effects are: pain at injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle/joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and nausea

Long Term Effects of COVID-19 for Children

  • Tiredness/fatigue
  • Cough 
  • Sleep disorders
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle/joint pain
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath 

What Can Parents/Adults Do To Protect Our Children?

  • Get our children vaccinated!
  • In addition, we can also get vaccinated. The more people that are vaccinated, the more likely we are to stay healthy and protect our community. 
  • MASK UP! Although the vaccine is extremely effective, it is just another form of protection against Coronavirus. It is still recommended to mask up. Not everyone is vaccinated and until herd immunity is reached, things will not be back to “pre-pandemic normal.”
  • The holidays are coming up! Let’s all work together and help keep our loved ones healthy and safe!
  • Check out our post on the COVID-19 booster shot: The Covid-19 Booster Shot: Being RiskAverse

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