TAMPA, Fla. — “If you look at the number of cases across the nation about 24% of cases out there are in children and they don’t make up a quarter of the population,” said Dr. Michael Teng, Virologist and USF Health Associate Professor.
Experts say the authorization of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 has come at a crucial time.
“The children, because they’re unvaccinated, are bearing the brunt of the pandemic right now,” said Teng.
That’s why doctors are encouraging all eligible children to now get vaccinated.
Here’s what you can expect if your kid gets the two-shot microdose:
- Mild side effects
- Injection site soreness and redness
Doctors say your child will likely have more of a reaction after the second dose
“The same sort of side effects we’ve seen all along with the Pfizer vaccine,” said Teng.
You may have heard of cases of myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart, related to the vaccine in kids.
However, doctors stress this is extremely rare, mild, temporary, and it’s much more likely your child will get myocarditis from being infected with COVID-19 than the vaccine.
“It’s about 10 times less common to have myocarditis after the vaccine than it is to have myocarditis after getting infected and having COVID,” said Teng.
They’ve done studies where they’ve looked really closely at the heart function and the heart function doesn’t seem to be that affected,” he added.
There’s still a myth going around that the vaccine causes infertility, and it’s making some parents hesitant to get their kids vaccinated.
Experts say this is just not true.
“There’s no indication that the vaccine has anything to do with infertility. They’ve done studies on vaccinated pregnant mothers. They’ve done studies on people who have gotten vaccinated and gotten pregnant,” said Teng.
“It’s really difficult to even imagine a way that the vaccine could cause infertility…The idea that your immune response to the vaccine is somehow going to cause infertility when the same immune response to the virus is not going to cause infertility, that just is not logical,” he added.
Before you take your child to get vaccinated remember not to give them a pain reliever prior to the shot because researchers don’t know how it may affect the vaccine.
Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge parents to talk to their doctor about a non-aspirin pain reliever after the shot if needed.
Also, doctors say kids who’ve had COVID-19 in the past should still get vaccinated.
“I think the rollout of the vaccine is probably going to go similar to the 12-15 age group and a lot of the people, a lot of the vaccines have been given out at pediatricians offices and places where there’s healthcare providers,” said Teng.
Walgreens and Publix will have appointments for Pfizer’s child vaccine starting Saturday.
CVS will also offer the shot at certain locations beginning Sunday.