Now that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children ages 12-15, many parents have questions. ARC Pediatrician, Sunaina Suhag talks about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in a recent article in Healthline.com.
Efficacy and safety.
"During the Pfizer trial, there were zero cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated kids," said Sunaina Suhag, MD, FAAP, ARC Pediatrician. "That's outstanding."
Some families may worry about the quick nature of the clinical trials. Dr. Suhag points to other vaccine clinical trials, such as the Menactra vaccine. "Just under 900 teens participated in Menactra phase 2 and 3 trials before approval, and over 1,100 teens 12 to 15 participated in Pfizer trials," Dr. Suhag said.
"We have a tremendous amount of data already because we put all of our efforts into making this a safe and efficient process," Dr. Suhag added.
Kids can experience the same reactions as adults, like chills, fatigue, soreness at the injection site, and lymph node swelling. These reactions typically resolve within 48 to 72 hours. Just as with adults, side effects are less concerning when parents and children know what to expect.
Risk from COVID-19
In general, children are less likely to develop a severe form of COVID-19, compared with adults. But that doesn't mean kids never develop COVID-19 or become seriously ill from it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids account for about 14 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
"Even though it's less common for young kids to become seriously sick from the virus, kids still have gotten very sick, even hospitalized due to COVID," said Dr. Suhag.
Why vaccinate kids?
Kids with COVID-19 can transmit the coronavirus to other at-risk people in their communities. "The best way to ensure that your kids don't get sick or spread COVID to others is to get vaccinated," said Dr. Suhag. Vaccinations are crucial in our effort to reach herd immunity — where a population has enough immunity to stop the spread of an infectious disease — and regain some normalcy.
Still have questions?
If you still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for your child, you can call the ARC 24/7 COVID-19 Hotline 866-453-4525 or schedule an appointment with your ARC physician, online at ARCBookNow.com, or by calling 512-272-4636.
Schedule your child's COVID-19 vaccine today
If you are ready to schedule your child's (12 and older) vaccine today, do so online at ARC MyChart.com. New patients to ARC can complete the online registration form to get notified when we have appointment slots and vaccine doses available. You will receive an email with a link to the scheduling page when vaccine is available.