Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. The move has garnered criticism and speculation about the vaccine’s effectiveness and health risks for children. Many parents are still unsure and are looking for more information about the vaccine for their children, and when it comes to our Black and Brown children, we want to make sure you are doing everything possible to keep our kids safe as they are impacted more than others. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Pfizer for children, and answers provided by the experts at childrenshospital.org.
- Why is the dose for 5-11-year-olds based on age and not by weight?
The Pfizer phase 3 trials included children of various sizes from age range 5-6 to age range 10-11. The FDA determined that the immune responses from the two age groups were very similar and that the immune responses in the children were similar to the responses of adults with a higher dosage.
- What are the side effects for children after receiving the vaccine?
The most common symptoms are a mild-to-moderate headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and sometimes a mild fever. These symptoms usually last around a day or two.
- How many doses will children need?
The dosage for adults with the Pfizer vaccine is the same dosage children will receive; two doses, with the second dose coming three weeks after the first.
- Does my child still need the vaccine if they have already had COVID-19?
Yes, children should still get the vaccine even if they already had the COVID-19 virus. Even though there is some immunity after being infected, it is not known how long that immunity lasts.
- Should my child get the vaccine if they are currently infected with COVID-19?
No. People infected with the virus can get the vaccine after they are no longer sick and can stop isolation. Talk with your doctor about when your child should receive the vaccine.
- Will the vaccine affect my child’s future fertility?
There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects fertility.