Recently, the CDC approved COVID-19 vaccination for children as young as five, and while many parents were quick to schedule an appointment for their school-aged kids, other parents had concerns.
If you’re wondering whether your children should be vaccinated against COVID-19, you’re not alone. Let’s cover information about the vaccine to help you decide.
COVID-19 Vaccination for Children
Thus far, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved for children 5-17 years of age. Children 12 and older are also approved for boosters following their initial vaccination.
According to the CDC, children are just as likely to contract COVID-19 as adults, and though children usually recover without complications, the virus has the potential to make children very sick, cause lasting complications, and increase the risk of spreading the illness to others both young and old.
Last year, COVID accounted for over 8,300 children needing hospital care, and nearly 100 deaths have occurred in this age group. Naturally, parents are worried and want to do everything they can to protect their children and those of their neighbors and friends.
However, safety concerns have caused parents to pause.
After all, social commentary and internet buzz have spread misinformation that complicates decision-making. While we want to trust peers, it can be a detriment when trying to make educated choices for the well-being of our children.
Concerns and misinformation about vaccines aren’t new, but as always, it’s important for parents to carefully consider the validity of the source from which they receive news.
Though vaccination for children is a matter of parental choice, the decision should be made through the examination of qualified medical documentation.
Medical professionals ran in-depth COVID-19 vaccination trials on thousands of children in order to obtain approval from the FDA. Approval was granted because no serious concerns were identified at the time. Allergic reactions or myocarditis were reported in a very small number of vaccinated children (less than 0.1%), so the benefits presented far outweigh the potential risk of complications.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is considered safe for children, it’s important for parents to work with their child’s healthcare provider to determine any complication risks.
If your child is allergic to any of the ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine, or if the child has a pre-existing health condition, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a trusted medical doctor.
Additionally, it’s important to realize that the same side effects that occur when adults receive the COVID vaccine may also occur in children. These side effects are generally mild and include fatigue, muscle aches, and pain at the injection site for a day or two after receiving the dose.
According to the FDA and CDC, vaccinating your child against COVID-19 infection is the best way to protect them from becoming sick or spreading the illness to others. It’s advisable to protect them, yourself, and those around your family as effectively as possible. One vaccination is one step toward a sense of normalcy.