How Do I Know Whether The Vaccine Is Safe For My Child
So far, the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe and well tolerated in adolescents. All of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. have undergone rigorous study, but we dont want to assume that children are little adults. This is why it is so important to study these vaccines just as carefully in children before health authorities could recommend use. Ongoing studies will continue to follow vaccinated children closely and robust safety monitoring will help rapidly identify rare or unexpected concerns if they emerge.
Experts Assess Safety And Necessity Of Moderna Covid
This assessment is part of number of documents submitted Italian lawyer Renate Holzeisen to support a lawsuit challenging EUs authorization of use of Modernas mRNA vaccine on children of 12 years and older . This document was published by the Doctors 4 Covid Ethics last April 10, 2021. It was written by Dr. Michael Palmer and Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi.
According to the document, most young people, particularly adolescents are now immune to SARS-CoV-2, hence making the vaccination unnecessary. They go on to offer the scientific basis for this assertion. The authors also say that the oft-cited rationale for vaccinating individuals who are not themselves at risk of severe disease is the need to induce herd immunity’. But this rationale, according to the authors, is based on the mythical idea of asymptomatic spread.
The authors go on to describe the data showing that Moderna lacks efficacy as well as the evidence showing that the vaccine has negative impact on the morbidity of children. Side effects were common among children, and that clinical trials made inadequate attempts to determine the optimal dose for children.
The document may be accessed here:
Should Children Get Covid Vaccines What The Science Says
A student in Bogor, Indonesia, receives a Sinovac jab in a COVID-19 vaccination campaign for school kids aged 1218.Credit: Adriana Adie/NurPhoto/Getty
At a time when much of the world is still struggling to access COVID-19 vaccines, the question of whether to vaccinate children can feel like a privilege. On 19 July, vaccine advisers in the United Kingdom recommended delaying vaccines for most young people under 16, citing the very low rates of serious disease in this age group. But several countries, including the United States and Israel, have forged ahead, and others are hoping to follow suit when supplies allow.
Nature looks at where the evidence stands on children and COVID vaccines.
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Will We Now See A Vaccination Campaign In Schoolchildren
Not immediately. The decision on whether to use the vaccines in children in the UK rests with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation , which advises governments. Its not a straightforward decision scientifically as the risks and benefits for children are not clearcut. Its also potentially fraught because of different interest groups. Teachers may want children to be vaccinated but some parents may be reluctant and not all doctors think it is a good idea. In the end, the decision will have to be taken by politicians.
Based On The Data To Date There’s No Compelling Case For It Right Now
The case to vaccinate kids is there, but it’s not compelling right now. The Delta variant could change the calculus depending on forthcoming data from the U.K., Singapore, and India where the variant may be demonstrating more contagious and virulent properties in younger people. By now we should all know that it is important to have humility in dealing with this virus. An increase in cases in the U.K. over the last few days is concerning and should be something we follow closely.
Returning to the discussion of the COVID-19 risk to kids right now, it’s worth aggregating the best available data to date. In reviewing the medical literature and news reports, and in talking to pediatricians across the country, I am not aware of a single healthy child in the U.S. who has died of COVID-19 to date. To investigate further, my research team at Johns Hopkins partnered with FAIR health to study pediatric COVID-19 deaths using approximately half of the nation’s health insurance data. We found that 100% of pediatric COVID-19 deaths were in children with a pre-existing condition, solidifying the case to vaccinate any child with a comorbidity.
Given that the risk of a healthy child dying is between zero and infinitesimally rare, it’s understandable that many parents are appropriately asking, why vaccinate healthy kids at all?
Cnbc Health & Science
The companies didn’t disclose many details about the trial, including whether any of the kids in the trial experienced myocarditis, a rare heart condition seen in a small number of adolescents and young adults.
The FDA is expected to issue a decision sometime this week on which groups are eligible to get a third dose, or booster shot, of the Pfizer vaccine. An FDA advisory committee on Friday unanimously recommended Pfizer booster shots to people age 65 and older and other vulnerable Americans.
Additionally, Pfizer expects to release clinical trial data on how well its Covid vaccine works in children as young as 6 months to 5 years old as early as the end of October, he said.
What Measures Can Parents With Children Under 12 Take To Protect Their Kids
As the landscape of COVID-19 keeps changing, parents should follow up-to-date public health recommendations to protect themselves and their children.
To stop the spread of the virus, washing hands well and often, wearing a mask for children over two years of age and staying at a distance from other people, especially in closed spaces, has proven to be effective.
When vaccines are approved by Health Canada for children younger than 12, parents should vaccinate their children at the earliest possible time.
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I Thought Children Were Low
Currently, children represent nearly one-quarter of all new reported weekly COVID-19 cases in the U.S. While serious illness from COVID-19 is rare in children, it does occur thousands of children have been hospitalized and at least 351 children have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. Some children who get seriously ill from COVID-19 may have underlying health conditions, but not all do. Vaccination will help protect children from developing serious illness.
Additionally, since adolescents can transmit COVID-19 to others, vaccinating children may prove to be an important part of safely getting back to normal activities of life, including attending school in person, participating in team sports and spending time with friends. A large survey of school-aged children showed that children in full or partial virtual school reported lower levels of physical activity, less in-person time socializing with friends and worse mental or emotional health compared with those receiving full in-person schooling. Children are experiencing unprecedented increases in indirect adverse health and educational consequences related to the pandemic, and we need to find ways to help them get quickly and safely back to normal life. Vaccination is one of them.
My Child Is Healthy How Important Is It For Them To Get The Covid
Its very important. With the spread of the Delta variant, particularly among the unvaccinated, cases in kids have increased nearly 240% in the U.S. since July. Kids now make up nearly 1 out of every 4 reported COVID-19 cases.
While many kids dont become seriously sick from COVID-19, some do, including with a serious inflammatory syndrome, MIS-C. More and more kids across the country are being hospitalized. And were still working to understand the long-term effects of long COVID.
Plus, lots of schools have different quarantine requirements for students who are fully vaccinated. When a classmate tests positive, a child whos fully vaccinated may be able to return to the classroom with just a negative COVID-19 test. A child who isnt may need to quarantine at home for 10 to 14 days.
A COVID-19 vaccine may be your childs best way to fully participate in school, sports and activities they love. Itll also keep them safe, and everyone else they come in contact with.
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Will The Pfizer Vaccine Be As Effective For Ages 5 To 11 As It Is For Older Kids
Yes. Pfizer says their COVID-19 vaccine provided a strong immune response in 5- to 11-year-olds, similar to its effectiveness in ages 16 and up. Thats around 80 to 90 percent effective at preventing serious illness.
Does The Vaccine Work In Adolescents
Yes, recently released data from Pfizer-BioNTech shows that the COVID-19 vaccine seems to work really well in this age group. The COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 100% efficacious in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in an ongoing clinical trial of children in the U.S. aged 12 to 15. Adolescents made high levels of antibody in response to the vaccine, and their immune response was just as strong as what has been seen in older teens and young adults 16-25 years of age.
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Kids Too Young For A Covid
With the arrival of the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, and vaccines not yet approved for children under 12, what measures can parents take to protect kids who are not yet immunized?
Dr. Ran Goldman , professor in the faculty of medicines department of pediatrics, offers tips for parents and outlines when a COVID-19 vaccine for this age group could become available in Canada.
Is The Pfizer Vaccine For Ages 5 To 11 Any Different From The Pfizer Vaccine For Ages 12 And Up
Its the exact same vaccine, made with the same mRNA technology. But its delivered in a low dosage: just 10 micrograms per shot, a third of the dosage for adolescents and adults. As with older ages, the vaccine is given in two shots, spaced three weeks apart.
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Canadian Paediatric Society Infectious Diseases And Immunization Committee
Members: Michelle Barton-Forbes MD Sean Bitnun MD Sergio Fanella MD Ruth Grimes MD Laura Sauvé MD Karina Top MDLiaisons: Sean Bitnun MD, Canadian Pediatric and Perinatal HIV/AIDS Research Group Fahamia Koudra, College of Family Physicians of Canada Yvonne Maldonado MD, Committee on Infectious Diseases, American Academy of Pediatrics Marc Lebel MD, IMPACT Dorothy L. Moore MD, National Advisory Committee on Immunization Marina Salvadori MD, Public Health Agency of Canada Isabelle Viel-Thériault MD, Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel Consultant: Noni E. MacDonald MDPrincipal author: Dorothy L. Moore MD
Why Shouldn’t Parents Try To Vaccinate Their Younger Children Now
But the FDA and leading pediatricians warned this week that it’s a terrible idea to give shots designed for adults to children under 12.
The dose is likely to be more than they need, causing unnecessary side effects, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has urged the FDA to expedite the process of authorizing shots for younger children.
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
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What’s The Status Of Clinical Trials On Younger Children
All three companies are studying their vaccines in children, first in adolescents, then 5- to 11-year-olds, then 2- to 5-year-olds followed by infants, 6 months and up. Younger babies are believed to have some protection from their vaccinated mothers. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that pregnant people get vaccinated to protect themselves because they are at higher risk for a serious COVID-19 infection, and their unborn child would receive some protection.
Because the vaccines were already proven safe and effective in tens of thousands of adults, the studies in children have been allowed to be smaller on the order of 3,000-4,000, instead of 30,000-40,000.
Children are less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19 than older adults, with risks generally declining with age. So regulators want to make sure that vaccines are safe enough to justify use in each age group.
Advisory panels to the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration decided that the benefits outweigh the risks of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents age 12 to 15.
Pfizer-BioNTech has said its study in children ages 5 to 11 should be completed early this fall, and in younger children early next year.
Moderna began its trials several months after Pfizer-BioNTech, so it is likely to complete its trials some time later, though it has not released a detailed timetable.
How The Vaccines Are Studied And Tested For Children And Youth
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were tested in youth through clinical trials that compared the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine to a placebo. They also compared safety and effectiveness across different age groups. These studies:
- confirm the vaccines are safe for use in youth aged 12 to 17
- determine what doses are most effective for different age groups
In phase 3 clinical trials, the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were very effective at preventing COVID-19 with symptoms in youth aged 12 to 17.
Learn more about:
Although children and youth are less likely to get really sick from COVID-19, they can still:
- get sick from COVID-19
- be infected and not have any symptoms
- spread COVID-19 to others
- experience longer-term effects if they do get infected
Children and youth with certain underlying medical conditions may have a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines help the body fight off the virus. Once fully vaccinated, people who get infected with COVID-19 will likely have no symptoms or mild symptoms. Like adults, youth are well protected against severe illness 14 days after their second dose. Those who have already had COVID-19 may still get vaccinated to protect themselves from getting it again.
Millions of people aged 12 to 17 have received COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. High rates of vaccination coverage across the country is key to:
Learn more about:
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Will Parents Have To Give Permission
The vaccine is mainly likely to be given in schools and parents will be asked for consent.
Although parental consent is being sought, children under 16 who can prove they understand the risks and benefits can ask for the vaccine – or refuse it – if they disagree with their parents.
This important legal test of whether a child can consent to treatment is known as “Gillick competent”. It is named after a famous dispute in which a teenager wanted contraceptive advice without her mother’s consent.
In practice it would be exceptional for a child under 13 to be judged Gillick competent.
Those aged 16 and 17 don’t need parental permission, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
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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A Vaccine For Children Is Not Likely To Be Approved Until The End Of Year
And even if the FDA grants that authorization, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, recently told NPR that parents and caregivers will likely have to wait until the end of 2021 before a COVID-19 vaccine is fully approved for young children ages 5 to 11.
Trial results for children under 5 years of age could come later this year, the pharmaceutical companies said.
“Already in March 2021, we have started the study to evaluate the immunization of younger children. Our objective was to generate and submit the data for schoolkids to regulatory authorities around the world before the winter season begins,” BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin said.
Is The Covid Vaccine Safe For Children
No medicine is completely safe and all are a balance of risk and benefit.
But the Pfizer jab wouldn’t have been approved for UK use if it wasn’t considered safe.
The vaccine has been linked to incredibly rare cases of inflammation of the heart muscle and of the sac the heart beats inside . This was found to be more common in younger men and after a second dose.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are conducting trials of their vaccines on children as young as six months old.
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