Answers For Teens About The Covid
This article was updated August 27, 2021, to reflect new information from the FDA.;
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone, requiring a spirit of determination and unity. While the challenge affects us all, it may be hardest on those caught between being a child and an adult.
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Teens are in the final years of childhood. Classroom learning, sports, dances, bands and all extracurricular activities play a significant role in their education and social development. Getting back to normal is essential to their development, and vaccines are our best weapon.
Raghunandana Kasetty, MD, a pediatrician with OSF HealthCare, answers some common questions surrounding teens and the COVID-19 vaccines.
What Permissions Are Needed For A Minor To Get The Vaccine
A parent or guardian must provide consent for a patient under the age of 18 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If the parent or guardian cannot accompany the patient to their appointment, written consent can be provided. The written consent should be signed and dated by the patients parent or guardian and should include the following statement, As the parent/legal guardian, I give my consent for to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine.
If Your Child Does Not Have A Ppsn And You Are Not Living In Ireland
The childs school or host family should arrange for the childs parent or guardian to complete and sign a consent form for vaccination.
Parents should read HSE information about the vaccines before giving their consent.
When the consent form is signed, the school or host family should contact the HSE to register the student aged 12-15 for a vaccination centre appointment. They can also bring the student to a walk-in clinic. The signed consent form must be brought to the vaccination centre.
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What Do We Know About Long
Scientists have only about six months of data on the vaccine in adults and older teens and a few months of data on young children. But given that the vaccines mRNA molecule mimics a natural human process, experts say they are confident that the vaccines are safe for growing bodies.
Dr. Kristin Oliver, a pediatrician and vaccine expert at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said that while there hasnt been long-term research on whether there are lasting side effects of the vaccine, we also dont expect any. She said parents have raised specific concerns about whether the vaccine could affect puberty or fertility, but theres not a biologically plausible explanation for why the vaccine would have any effect in those areas.
There has to be some sort of biologic plausibility for why a vaccine or why an immune response could interfere with those things. And there just isnt, said Dr. Oliver. Im a worrier, and this possibility of unknown long-term side effects from the mRNA vaccines just isnt keeping me up at night.
One reassuring fact about the mRNA vaccines is that the molecule is destroyed by the cell once it completes its mission, so it doesnt stay in the body.
This is one of the better technologies if youre worried about something staying in your childs body, said Dr. Ibukun C. Kalu, a professor of pediatrics at Duke University. Theres no way it can become stored in the DNA or trigger some long term cascade that will impact a childs reproductive organs.
Facts About The Covid
The COVID-19 vaccines:
- may the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
- are very effective. The vaccines authorized so far by the FDA are up to 95% effective for preventing symptomatic illness from COVID-19. This is a very high level of protection.
- do not impact fertility or menstrual cycle. Boston Children’s doctor addresses infertility worries tied to COVID-19
- do not alter your DNA
- appear to provide good protection for new variants against severe COVID-19 caused by the delta variant, even though research suggests they are slightly less effective overall
- are safe for people with underlying medical conditions, as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
- are recommended by the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , U.S. Food and Drug Administration , American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and many other groups
People of color may have concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine for personal or historic reasons. We address why some people hesitate and why we continue to recommend vaccination.
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Which Countries Are Already Offering Jabs To 12 To 15
The JCVI has resisted calls to recommend vaccines for healthy under-16s.
While the move will irk Government ministers who were keen to go ahead with the plans to keep infection rates in schools low, some scientists applauded the panel for not bowing to political pressure and following the science.
But the country is at risk of becoming an international outlier as many other western nations have already started jabbing children. They include:
- Denmark, from August;
- Parts of Germany, from August;
- Israel, from June 6
- Parts of Spain, from August
- Sweden, from August;
What Side Effects Might I Expect For My Child
Nonsevere side effects may be experienced following vaccination. The most commonly reported side effects have been pain and swelling at the injection site. Other common side effects include tiredness and headache. Similar to young adults, some adolescents have experienced fever, chills, muscle aches and joint pain, which may be more common after the second dose. These effects are short-lived, however, and most resolve within one to two days.
Some adolescents may faint when receiving an injection. If this is a concern for your child, let your vaccine administration site know ahead of time your child can be given the vaccine while theyre seated or lying down to avoid injuries from falling.
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Parental Consent Is The Norm
Generally, parents or legal guardians have primary legal authority to make health decisions for their children, including vaccination decisions. When a state legally allows parents to request exemptions for legally mandated childhood vaccinations, these laws universally require that the parents are the ones to take steps to obtain it.
When minor children disagree with their parents opposition to vaccination, they must look to statutes or case law for assistance, and may find it lacking.
As of 2021, roughly one-third of U.S. states have passed laws establishing the mature minor doctrine: a legal framework allowing minors to independently obtain health care without parental consent, within specified limitations. Some, but not all, specifically include vaccination.
In other states, minors may still be able to make their own medical decisions thanks to state court rulings establishing the mature minor doctrine.
The 1928 Mississippi case of Gulf & S.I.R. Co. v. Sullivan is one of the earliest of these rulings. In this case, the parents of a 17-year-old railroad employee sued his employer, alleging that a smallpox vaccination administered by the company physician had injured the teen. The parents had neither consented nor objected to his employment by the railroad or the vaccination, but later claimed that their consent was needed for the smallpox shot.
Mature minor laws can vary considerably from state to state.
Who Cannot Get The Vaccine
Your child cannot get the vaccine if any of the following statements is true:
- They have received another vaccine in the last 14 days ;
- They have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 10 days
- They have received an infusion of COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies in the past 90 days
- They are allergic to any ingredient in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A list of the ingredients in the Pfizer vaccine is available on our COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ page on UofMHealth.org under “About the COVID-19 Vaccines”.
If your child has a history of allergies, they will be observed for a longer period of time after their injection by medical personnel onsite and should report any symptoms to the charge nurse during the observation period. Medical staff at all locations are equipped with anaphylaxis kits and supplies to quickly treat anyone experiencing an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
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Government May Still Offer Covid
A final decision on whether to offer jabs to all healthy 12 to 15-year-olds could be made within days, despite advisers deciding against recommending a mass rollout.
The UKs four chief medical officers are to consider further evidence following a request by Health Secretary Sajid Javid and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Do Teens Have The Same Side Effects From The Vaccine
Research has shown that there are no serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines.
The vaccines can cause some local soreness at the injection site. You may fatigue or get a headache for a day or two after getting the vaccine. These minor vaccine reactions are nothing compared to the potentially life-threatening problems that can come from COVID-19.
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Vaccine Invitations For Children At Higher Risk
If your child or young person is eligible, you will be;contacted by NHS Scotland with your child’s vaccination appointment details.;Some children under specialist care will be contacted directly by their healthcare professional and others will receive a vaccination invitation letter.
Local health boards aim to vaccinate those who cannot attend a clinic in their own home or a care setting. Local health boards will contact the parents or carers of these children directly to organise this.
Adult Needed At Vaccination
Children aged 12 to 15 will get their vaccine appointment at a vaccination centre near their home.
They can also go to a walk-in vaccination clinic without an appointment.
They will need to bring an adult. Children on their own will not be vaccinated.
Where possible, the childs parent or legal guardian should go with their child.
If the parent or legal guardian has given consent online in advance, it is possible for them to ask another adult to bring their child to the appointment.
If consent has not been given in advance, the child’s parent or legal guardian has to be there.
If the appointment time does not suit you, you can change the appointment.
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Different Views Among Parents Or Guardians
People aged 15 or younger will need the consent of one parent or legal guardian to get vaccinated.
If parents or joint guardians do not agree about getting your child vaccinated, you should discuss and try to resolve this between yourselves before registering your child.
You can also talk to your childs GP about any concerns you may have about COVID-19 vaccines. Talk to your child about vaccination as their opinion is important also.
If a vaccinator, including your GP or pharmacist, is notified that one parent or guardian does not consent to the child being vaccinated, the vaccine should not be given.;
Should Children Be Vaccinated
The main argument in favour of vaccinating children is in order to prevent them keeping the virus in circulation long enough for it to transmit back to adults.
Experts fear that unvaccinated children returning to classrooms in September could lead to a boom in cases among people in the age group, just as immunity from jabs dished out to older generations earlier in the year begins to wane.
This could trigger another wave of the virus if left unchecked, with infection levels triggering more hospitalisations and deaths than seen during the summer.;
Avoiding long Covid in children
While the risk of serious infection from Covid remains low in most children, scientists are still unsure of the long-term effects the virus may have on them.
Concerns have been raised in particular about the incidence of long Covid the little understood condition when symptoms persist for many more weeks than normal in youngsters.
A study released last night by Kings College London showed fewer than two per cent of children who develop Covid symptoms continue to suffer with them for more than eight weeks.
Just 25 of the 1,734 children studied 0.01 per cent suffered symptoms for longer than a year.;
Extremely rare incidences of a rare heart condition have been linked to the Pfizer vaccine in youngsters.
The risk is higher than in 18- to 24-year-olds , 25- to 29-year-olds and people aged 30 and above . But, again, this is very low.
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How Are Children Affected By Covid
The outbreaks among children overseas and in some parts of Australia have;raised concerns about how children are at risk when they’re exposed to the virus.;
Recent outbreaks of the Delta variant in Australia have;seen the rate of infection among younger people rise;higher than last year.;
But the advice does not outline a clear timetable for expanding vaccine eligibility.
“In the context of constrained vaccine supply, delivery of a population-wide adolescent program should not be prioritised over vaccination to younger adults in most contexts,” it says.
In;the Northern Territory;all children over the age of 12;are allowed;to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Studies are;being done overseas to evaluate the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in children under 12,;but at this stage in Australia;there have been no announcements about;whether vaccines will be made available to;children in that age group.
Which 12 To 15
Healthy children under the age of 16 do not need to be vaccinated against Covid, the Governments vaccine advisory panel ruled today.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said the virus posed such a low risk to 12 to 15-year-olds that the benefit of vaccination to their health would be marginal.
But they did recommend the jabs for 200,000 more children with chronic conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid. A total of 350,000 children aged 12 to 15 are now eligible for the vaccine.
Children aged 12 to 15 who have the following conditions can now get a Covid vaccine:
- Haematological malignancy;
- Type 1 diabetes;
- Congenital heart disease;
- Other health conditions such as poorly controlled asthma that mean a child is considered to be part of the Covid clinical risk group.;
The JCVI did recommend the jabs for 200,000 more children with chronic heart, kidney, lung and neurological conditions in that age group. A total of 350,000 children aged 12 to 15 are now eligible for the vaccine.
The expert panel said that youngsters under 16 with severe conditions have a one in 10,000 chance of falling seriously ill with Covid compared to the one in 500,000 risk for healthy children.
It said that a very rare heart complication associated with the jabs meant the benefits of vaccination only marginally outweighed the risks in healthy under-16s, but not enough to recommend a mass rollout.;
The department had said it wanted to be ready to hit the ground running.
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Scientists Not Backing Covid Jabs For 12 To 15
The UK’s vaccine advisory body has refused to give the green light to vaccinating healthy children aged 12-15 years on health grounds alone.
The JCVI said children were at such a low risk from the virus that jabs would offer only a marginal benefit.
The UK’s four chief medical officers have now been asked to have the final say, and to consider the wider impact on schools and society.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said a decision would be made shortly.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation did advise widening the existing vaccine programme to include an extra 200,000 teenagers with specific underlying conditions.
Doctors identified that children with chronic heart, lung and liver conditions were at much higher risk of Covid than healthy children.
Find Your Nearest Vaccine Locations
Please make sure that you are;eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine;and make an appointment at a clinic.;
Enter your address in the search tool below and click the search button to find your nearest vaccine locations.
How to book appointment:
- Book appointment;or call;1-833-943-3900
- If you do not have a valid health card but are eligible for a vaccine, please call Ottawa Public Health at 613-691-5505 to book an appointment.
- First doses;are available for anyone born in 2009 or earlier is currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Second doses;are available for anyone who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine at least 28 days before their appointment. People who received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine can receive an mRNA vaccine after 56 days.
- Third doses are available to residents most at risk of serious illness, including individuals who are severely immunocompromised:;
- Transplant recipients
- Patients with hematological cancers on active treatment
- Recipients of an anti-CD20 agent ;
Ottawa residents who meet these criteria can speak to their specialist or hospital program to ask for a letter to receive a third dose. The third dose of vaccine will be given at least two months after the second dose and will match the vaccine received as the second dose.;Eligible residents must present a letter from their specialist or hospital program to receive a third dose.
- Pfizer-BioNtech and/or Moderna
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Experts Are Split On Whether Its Still Possible In This Calendar Year
For some time, the goal was to start getting shots in the arms of younger kids in September. No one expects that to happen now. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nations top infectious disease expert, has said that theres still a reasonable chance that kids younger than 12 will be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine before we head into 2022 perhaps sometime in the mid-late fall.
Many other experts, including the surgeon general, have also said publicly that kids ages 5 to 11 will be eligible this year. The director of Pfizer recently laid out a scenario in which the drug manufacturer would have trial data available in September, submit an emergency use authorization application to the Food and Drug Administration in October, then hopefully have a vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds approved by late fall, early winter. Vice Adm. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, added that was an optimized scenario, however.
Other high-profile health experts have expressed skepticism about those timelines. In a recent interview with NPR, Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, suggested theyre unlikely.
Pfizer thinks that maybe by the end of September theyll be ready to send in their trial data , and then the FDA will have to review it. Ive got to be honest, I dont see the approval for kids 5 to 11 coming much before the end of 2021, Collins said.