Children ages 5 years old and older are now eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all children and adolescents 5 years of age and older.
Although COVID-19 is generally milder in children than adults, children can still get infected and become very sick. Getting vaccinated can protect children from serious illness.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 5 years old through 11 years old has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents. However, children receive a dose that is one-third of what adolescents and adults receive.
Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Pfizer data show that its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in kids ages 5 to 11 years old after more than 2,000 children participated in their clinical trial. The study did not examine whether vaccination slowed asymptomatic disease or the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to others in contact with the vaccinated children. The FDA gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5 years old through 15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years old and older.
Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines in children and adults are very similar and include sore arm, body aches, chills, headache, nausea, tiredness or fever. These side effects may affect a child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
Some children will have no side effects. Severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, and complications such as myocarditis and pericarditis are rare. Learn more about possible side effects in children at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Making a Vaccination Appointment
COVID-19 vaccines for all age groups, as well as booster doses and additional doses, are available at each of Lake Regional’s seven primary care clinics. Call the clinic of your choice to make an appointment. There is no cost to any patient for the vaccine or office visit. The Pfizer vaccine for children is a two-dose series, and a parent or guardian will need to be present for both appointments.
Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine, at the same visit or without waiting 14 days between vaccines. However, some providers recommend spacing out vaccinations.
To learn more about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, visit lakeregional.com/vaccine.