OSF pediatric experts: Kids ages 5-11 and the COVID-19 vaccine

This weblog was up to date Could 23, 2022, to mirror new info from the CDC. 

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) has authorized a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer particularly for youths ages 5 to 11.

U.S. information signifies that COVID-19 is now a prime 10 explanation for demise for kids in ages 5 to 11.

The power to vaccinate this age group has the potential to have a significant constructive affect – not just for the well being and security of kids, but in addition on the pandemic as a complete. OSF HealthCare, nevertheless, is aware of mother and father nonetheless have questions.

A panel of OSF pediatric specialists – Marc Knepp, MD, and Frank Han, MD, pediatric cardiologists with OSF HealthCare Kids’s Hospital of Illinois, in addition to Raghu Kasetty, MD, a pediatrician with OSF Medical Group – supply perception to assist mother and father navigate info when deciding whether or not to have their children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated towards COVID-19.

How do the COVID-19 vaccines work for youths age 5 to 11?

“The 2-dose pediatric mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer is similar to its grownup cousin and has the identical lively elements because the vaccine given to adults and adolescents,” stated Dr. Han.

The age-appropriate dose for youths ages 5 to 11 is one-third of the grownup dose and is run utilizing smaller needles which might be designed particularly for kids, in response to the CDC.

As Dr. Han explains, the vaccine delivers a recipe (mRNA) that teaches our cells to make a innocent piece of the “spike” protein discovered on the floor of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As soon as the protein piece is made, our physique’s cells show it on their floor and our immune system acknowledges that it doesn’t belong. The immune system then produces antibodies to eliminate the virus.

Do youthful children want a booster?

The CDC has authorized the Pfizer vaccine as boosters in children age 5-17. The booster must be given 5 months after they obtain the second dose.

Additional, youngsters age 5 to 11 who’re reasonably to severely immunocompromised ought to obtain a 3rd dose of the vaccine as a part of their major collection. This must be given no less than 28 days after receiving their second dose. A booster, or fourth dose, for these people could be given three months following the third dose.

Children age 12 to 17 who’re reasonably to severely immunocompromised ought to obtain a complete of 5 doses. The primary booster – or their fourth dose – must be given no less than three months after finishing the three-dose major collection. A second booster – or their fifth dose – could be given no less than 4 months after the primary booster.

What are the advantages of COVID-19 vaccination for youths 5 and older?

“Immunizing children age 5 and older is an enormous subsequent step in lowering the unfold of COVID-19 an infection in faculties, daycares and the communities the place they reside,” Dr. Kasetty stated. “It additionally helps to guard members of the family, particularly those that are aged, individuals with pre-existing circumstances and kids and infants beneath age 5.”

The well being of the kid must be of the best concern, Dr. Han stated.

“Whereas it’s true that youngsters age 5 and older don’t usually get fairly as sick as adults do, with variants like delta, extra children have been hospitalized, as in comparison with different earlier variants,” Dr. Han stated.

Dr. Knepp agrees.

“Vaccination decreases a baby’s threat of getting critically sick,” he stated. “It decreases the chance of dying of COVID-19, it decreases the chance of transmission and it decreases the chance of long-term points which will outcome from a COVID an infection.”

Is the COVID-19 vaccine secure for kids of this age group?

The docs agree that the vaccine has been proven to be very secure. Primarily based upon the research group of youngsters ages 5 to 11, the unwanted effects have been related however milder in comparison with adults. Negative effects have been additionally similar to these skilled from different vaccinations children obtain. Negative effects embody:

  • Swelling, redness and ache at injection website
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle ache
  • Chills
  • Nausea

Will the COVID-19 vaccine have an effect on a baby’s reproductive growth?

“There was no proof that both the COVID-19 vaccine or an infection from COVID-19 impacts fertility,” Dr. Han stated.

Sadly, Dr. Kasetty stated, there’s loads of misinformation concerning the vaccine that confuses individuals, making it onerous to make the right determination.

“There isn’t a confirmed hyperlink between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and a baby’s reproductive organ growth,” he stated.

Are there any long-term unwanted effects of this vaccine for kids?

Dr. Knepp and Dr. Han need each mother or father to know: Within the historical past of vaccines, there has by no means been one which has unwanted effects in sufferers happen a long time later.

“All critical adversarial occasions have been recognized throughout the first few months of the vaccine roll out. The youngsters who participated within the core scientific trial will probably be monitored for 2 years to see if any unwanted effects happen, however because of the very brief lifespan of the vaccine throughout the physique, the vaccination isn’t anticipated to create any lasting unwanted effects,” Dr. Han stated. “Older youngsters who’ve obtained a COVID-19 vaccination haven’t proven any proof of long-term unwanted effects.”

Dr. Kasetty agrees.

“In the US and all through the world, we’ve had loads of expertise with many alternative vaccines in youngsters and we now have not seen long-term unwanted effects from vaccinations,” he stated. “The primary COVID-19 vaccine received authorized on December 17, 2020. Since then, many tens of millions of individuals have obtained the vaccine and we now have not seen any notable long-term unwanted effects from the vaccine.”

Can COVID-19 vaccines lead to coronary heart irritation (myocarditis and pericarditis) in youngsters this age?

Our pediatric coronary heart specialists, Dr. Knepp and Dr. Han, stated whereas no coronary heart irritation was discovered within the 5 to 11 age group through the core scientific trials, surveillance of this risk is ongoing.

“Myocarditis is an irritation of the center muscle. Pericarditis is irritation of the outer lining of the center. OSF Kids’s Hospital and different collaborating hospitals have studied the difficulty of myocarditis occurring after a COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Knepp stated. “Incidents of post-vaccine myocarditis has been comparatively minor and seen in older youngsters after a COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. Pediatricians throughout the nation are conscious to seek for this and research it additional.”

They suggest mother and father communicate to their little one’s pediatrician concerning the potential signs of myocarditis to allow them to be looking out ought to this very uncommon aspect impact occur.

“The chance of coronary heart irritation is extra doubtless with an infection from the COVID-19 virus in all age teams studied to date than after the vaccine,” Dr. Knepp stated.

Dr. Kasetty stated the statistics are very telling.

“For youngsters beneath age 16, COVID-19 an infection places them at a 37 instances greater threat of creating coronary heart irritation. In a big analysis research, myocarditis was famous in two out of 100,000 individuals getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” he stated. “The best incidence of myocarditis (10.69 circumstances per 100,000) was reported in males between the ages of 16 and 29 after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Most of these circumstances have been gentle to reasonable.

“The advantages of getting a COVID-19 vaccine,” he stated, “clearly outweigh the dangers for myocarditis after vaccination.”

Do youngsters must proceed sporting a masks after they’re vaccinated?

The panel agrees, no public well being software used to fight an infectious illness works 100%. Masks and vaccines are each instruments for everybody, with vaccines being more practical than masks. For max safety, a number of instruments of safety must be used collectively.

“Public well being tries to make use of as many instruments as attainable to attenuate the potential whole threat,” Dr. Han stated. “The usage of masks can be preferable in communities with excessive COVID-19 transmission. In a small gathering with everybody vaccinated, it’s doubtless secure to take away the masks.”

Dr. Kasetty stated the COVID-19 vaccine is very efficient in defending your self from contracting the virus along with lowering the unfold.

“It’s a good suggestion to proceed to sporting masks in large indoor teams to scale back the asymptomatic unfold of the virus,” he stated.

The docs suggest following steerage from the CDC about masks.

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