5 questions parents have about Covid vaccines for young kids — and answers from top experts

Asia's Tech News Daily

Covid vaccines for young children are almost here — a critical step toward ending the pandemic.

5 questions parents have about Covid vaccines for young kids — and answers from top experts
© Provided by CNBC

But plenty of American parents don’t plan on signing their kids up right away.

On Tuesday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended a low dosage of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, setting the stage for roughly 28 million kids to become vaccine-eligible as soon as next week. The FDA will likely approve the committee’s recommendation later this week, and then send its findings to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a final decision.

Supply could be plentiful. Moderna released a statement on Monday saying its Covid vaccine is safe and effective in kids ages 6 to 11, and that it plans to submit data to the FDA in the “near term.” Johnson & Johnson’s clinical trials for children as young as 12 are expected to start this fall.

But only about a third of parents plan to vaccinate their children ages 5 to 11 “right away” once a vaccine is authorized, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey conducted last month — despite hot-button topics like in-school masking and social distancing creating tension across the country.

Experts say the hesitation is understandable. “As parents, it’s our job to understand the health decisions that we’re making for our kids,” says Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “There’s quite a bit of [Covid vaccine] information out there — much of it misinformation — which can be a little hard to filter through.”

So, here are five common questions that parents have about the Covid vaccines, with answers from experts:

Do young kids even need to be vaccinated?

Covid usually impacts children less severely than than adults. Often, kids who get infected only experience mild symptoms — or none at all. But Covid is still a serious illness that can lead to significant long-term effects on children, Beers says.

For example, children who get Covid can develop a deadly complication called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or “MIS-C.” Kids can also transmit the virus to adults at risk of severe illness from Covid, like people who are elderly or immunocompromised.

Vaccines can help minimize the odds of both scenarios, Beers says, and help get everyone’s school, sports and socializing experiences closer to normal.

Getting as many of America’s 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 vaccinated as possible could also be a major step toward ending the pandemic. As long as the virus can circulate through unvaccinated populations, it can mutate into more dangerous variants.

And kids represent “an unvaccinated reservoir of individuals,” says Dr. Ross Kedl, a professor of immunology and microbiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Are the Covid vaccines are safe for children?

Many parents have expressed concern about the speed at which the Covid vaccines were developed, and the processes used to monitor their progress.

Some good news, then: The Covid vaccines are subject to the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, Beers says. And on Tuesday, the FDA reported that it found zero deaths or “significant adverse events” in Pfizer’s early Covid vaccine trials for kids.

“When you track on that process, you realize how many checkpoints there are to really make sure that the data is being looked at very, very, very carefully,” Beers says.

As for the mRNA technology behind Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid vaccines, Kedl says, it’s not actually brand new: It’s been under development for decades. For many years, the problem was cost — mRNA vaccines were considered too expensive to manufacture and difficult to scale.

“I’m very grateful towards our scientists for doing this work, not knowing if and when the technology would be needed,” Beers says. “It really was here and ready for us at just the right time.”

What kind of side effects will young kids get from the Covid vaccines?

Young kids will generally experience similar types of side effects from Covid vaccines as teens and adults — but likely with less severity, says the FDA. That’s because, from a physiological standpoint, kids aren’t just small adults: Your immune system doesn’t fully develop until you reach puberty.

So, your child may experience pain at the injection site, fatigue or headaches after their second dose — but they won’t get knocked out from those side effects the way you did. Notably, kids experienced post-shot fever and chills at a far lesser rate than adults — and with much less severity — during clinical trials.

Pfizer’s vaccine has a considerably lower dosage for young children than it does for everyone else: 10 micrograms for kids ages 5 to 11, as opposed to 30 micrograms.

The drugmaker found that 10 micrograms was the sweet spot between high levels of antivirus protection and low levels of side effects in young children, Dr. William Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of vaccine clinical research and development, said on Tuesday during a livestreamed FDA meeting.

Similarly, Moderna’s vaccine has used 50-microgram doses for kids ages 6 to 11 during clinical trials, compared to 100 micrograms for adults.

The reason children only need a fraction of the dose to get the appropriate amount of protection, says Kedl: They tend to have more robust immune responses than adults. Pfizer’s data showed that the lower dose was more than 90% effective at preventing symptomatic infection in young children.

Some parents worry about potential long-term side effects from the Covid vaccines. Beers says that vaccines don’t typically create any form of long-term health problem — even long-lasting side effects dissipate after six weeks at most, she notes — and the Covid vaccines are no exception.

Other popular myths — like the Covid vaccines affecting a child’s future fertility or development through puberty — are simply untrue, Beers says.

What about the heart problems linked with Covid vaccines and kids?

You may have heard about myocarditis, an extremely rare side effect of the Covid vaccine that can cause heart inflammation in men under 30.

That doesn’t appear to apply to children, though the sample size for researchers will obviously grow once more kids become vaccine-eligible. The FDA said on Tuesday that it hasn’t seen an uptick in myocarditis cases in the 12 to 17 age group, and that the risk could be even lower for younger children.

The agency also said it hasn’t found evidence showing that vaccines can cause MIS-C, the potentially deadly complication for some kids who get sick from Covid.

As of Oct. 6, the CDC has only confirmed 877 cases of myocarditis in people under age 30 after getting Pfizer or Moderna’s Covid vaccines. Notably, Covid infections cause myocarditis at much higher rates than the Covid vaccines do.

The FDA says its researchers used mathematical models to predict outcomes based on a range of scenarios involving myocarditis, and determined that even in a worst-case scenario, the benefits of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine “clearly outweigh the risks for ages 5-11 years.”

Will it be hard for me to find a kid-sized dose for my child?

Short answer: Probably not.

Unlike the vaccine rollout for adults, which prioritized high-risk groups, all kids ages 5 to 11 will likely be eligible to get the vaccine once it’s approved — and the country is already preparing for high levels of demand.

Last week, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. will have enough kid-sized doses and vials for each of the nation’s 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 by the time the vaccines are authorized.

The White House also noted that more than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers have already signed up to administer vaccines to kids, and that pediatric vaccines will be manufactured in different packaging than the adult doses to avoid confusion.

Once they’re officially eligible, kids will be able to get a Covid vaccine from their pediatrician and at retail pharmacies, health clinics, hospitals or even school-based sites.

Signing your child up for a Covid vaccine could also be an opportunity to check in with their pediatrician and make sure they’re up-to-date on all their other important shots, including the flu vaccine, Beers says.

Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

Don’t miss:

  • Mix-and-match Covid vaccine boosters are here — How to choose the best one for you
Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Prosecute shoplifters under existing laws, governor says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday in no uncertain terms that he thinks shoplifters should be prosecuted under existing California laws, as he called out local officials ... Read more »

Today in History for December 2nd

Sen. Joseph McCarthy is censured; Scientists demonstrate the world’s first artificially-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction; Enron files for Chapter 11 protection; Colombian drug lord is shot and killed. (Dec. 2) Read more »

Man testifies that Jussie Smollett paid him to "fake beat him up"

This story originally appeared on CBS Chicago. One of the two brothers who claim actor Jussie Smollett paid them to pull off a fake attack took the stand on Wednesday. ... Read more »

Planned Parenthood's Los Angeles clinics hit by ransomware; patient data stolen

FILE PHOTO: A clinic escort stands outside the Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood in St. Louis (Reuters) – Planned Parenthood's Los Angeles clinics suffered a ransomware attack in October ... Read more »

From Square to Block: Another tech company changes its name

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There’s a new Silicon Valley corporate name change on the block. A month after Facebook renamed itself Meta, Square Inc., the payments company headed by former ... Read more »

Christmas tree made of garbage unveiled in London

The art exhibit is meant to bring awareness to sustainability and the effects of waste on the city, according to the Lord Mayor of London. Read more »

Báez gets $140M birthday present, closes deal with Tigers

DETROIT (AP) — Javier Báez hopes he’s a big part of a turnaround with the Detroit Tigers, too. Báez celebrated his 29th birthday Wednesday by signing a $140 million, six-year ... Read more »

Unity man accused of having inappropriate contact with 13-year-old

Dec. 1—A 48-year-old Unity man was arrested this week by Greensburg police after he was accused of having inappropriate contact with a 13-year-old girl. Thomas B. Greenwood was charged after ... Read more »

Mass. man sentenced to 35 years again after retrial in Aroostook slaying and robbery

Dec. 1—A Massachusetts man convicted a second time in September of murder and robbery in the 2016 death of an Oakfield man during a marijuana deal was sentenced Wednesday to ... Read more »

Debt collectors OK'd to use social media to reach borrowers

There are strict guidelines governing how a collector can reach out on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Read more »

3-year-old shot in Fort Worth's Stockyards area dies, medical examiner's office says

A 3-year-old girl who died on Wednesday at a hospital was accidentally shot in the Stockyards area in Fort Worth, authorities said. Cassity Jackson died in the Cook Children’s Medical ... Read more »

Louisville man sentenced in child porn case involving young girls in Australia and Greece

UPDATE: A federal judge sentenced Dickson on Nov. 29, 2021, to 32 years in prison. A Louisville man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly pretended to be an 11-year-old on ... Read more »

Windsor man charged with possession of stolen Aiken County pistol

Dec. 1—A Windsor man was arrested Friday after Aiken County deputies discovered a stolen pistol during a traffic stop. Seth Lee Spell, 28, is charged with two counts of sale ... Read more »

Suspect in Edgefield County manhunt threatened to kill two women before disappearing

Dec. 1—The suspect in an active multi-county manhunt threatened to kill at least two people before disappearing near Sweetwater Road and S.C. Highway 23. Arrest warrants obtained from the Edgefield ... Read more »

Search underway for man charged in shooting death of 29-year-old Arden man

Law enforcement across Western North Carolina are searching for a man charged with the shooting death of 29-year-old Kedrick Tevon Green on Nov. 18. A man has been charged with ... Read more »

S.Korea hits new COVID-19 record, halts quarantine exemptions to block Omicron

People wait in a line to undergo coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at its testing site in central Seoul By Hyonhee Shin SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea's daily record of coronavirus ... Read more »

Mother of 3-year-old sues The Sunshine House, employees following alleged assault in Aiken

Dec. 1—The mother of a 3-year-old allegedly assaulted on Oct. 21 at The Sunshine House on Summerwood Way in Aiken is suing the corporation, the employee that is charged with ... Read more »

Remarks by 9 justices indicate how they lean on abortion

1 / 3Supreme Court AbortionThis artist sketch depicts Center for Reproductive Rights Litigation Director Julie Rikelman speaking to the Supreme Court, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington. Seated to Rikelman’s ... Read more »

Pitcher Marcus Stroman breaks his own news: He's signing with Chicago Cubs

Free-agent pitcher Marcus Stroman has always been someone who does things his own way. From his outspoken personality to his unique approach on the mound. We can now add to ... Read more »

Data hacked for 400,000 Planned Parenthood LA patients

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles branch of Planned Parenthood was hit by a data breach involving about 400,000 patients, but there is no indication that the information was ... Read more »

Jacqueline Avant fatal shooting may not have been ‘random attack,' police chief says

According to TMZ, the incident occurred at the couple’s residence in Trousdale Estates, an affluent neighborhood near Beverly Hills. Police do not believe that the fatal shooting that left Jacqueline ... Read more »

Jury finds Rio Arriba County sheriff guilty of two felonies

Dec. 1—After only a few hours of deliberations, a Santa Fe County jury found Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan guilty Wednesday of aiding a felon and intimidating a witness ... Read more »

Airlines told to keep data on travelers from southern Africa

FILE – A man walks through a deserted part of Johannesburg‘s OR Tambo’s airport, South Africa, Monday Nov. 29, 2021. As countries shut their doors to foreign tourists or reimpose ... Read more »

First confirmed US omicron case recorded in Calif.

The U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of the omicron variant Wednesday, in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa. (Dec. 1) Read more »

Jacqueline Avant, wife of music legend, killed in Beverly Hills

The Beverly Hills police chief says he doesn’t think the fatal shooting of Jacqueline Avant was a “random attack.” The 81-year-old philanthropist was married to legendary music executive Clarence Avant. ... Read more »

White House hosts menorah lighting ceremony

The White House celebrates the fourth night of Hanukkah with a menorah-lighting ceremony that included for first time a Jewish spouse of a President or Vice President. Second Gentleman Doug ... Read more »

Protesters rally amid Mississippi abortion debate

Abortion activists are protesting in Mississippi’s capital as the state takes center stage in a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court case that could end a nationwide right to abortion. (Dec. 1) Read more »

UConn freshman Fudd out with stress injury in right foot

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn star freshman Azzi Fudd will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks with an injured right foot, coach Geno Auriemma said Wednesday. Auriemma, ... Read more »

U.S. House committee recommends contempt charge for Trump-era Justice Dept official

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Capitol Building is stormed by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6, 2021 By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. congressional committee probing the deadly Jan. 6 assault ... Read more »

How scientists in San Francisco found the first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant in the United States

SAN FRANCISCO — The first case of the coronavirus omicron variant in the United States was confirmed at 4 a.m. Wednesday after an all-night session by scientists here. The city's ... Read more »

Shooting erupts at school basketball game, leaving 1 dead in Tennessee, officials say

One person was killed in a shooting that broke out after a pair of high school basketball games in Humboldt, Tennessee, local outlets reported. Police received a call about 8:30 ... Read more »

Twins start rotation rebuild, sign Dylan Bundy to $5M deal

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins signed right-hander Dylan Bundy to a $5 million, one-year contract on Wednesday, taking their first step toward rebuilding a depleted rotation. Bundy will make ... Read more »

Jacqueline Avant fatally shot during home robbery, motive 'unknown' to police

The 81-year-old wife of music producer and executive Clarence Avant, was shot and killed during a home invasion in Beverly Hills. Read more »

UPDATE 2: Prosecutor says officer acted in self-defense against aggressive dogs

Dec. 1—The Vigo County Prosecutor's Office says a city police officer acted in self-defense against aggressive dogs he encountered Monday evening when responding to an animal complaint on Ohio Street. ... Read more »

Three men shot, one fatally, in separate incidents across Baltimore Wednesday, police say

Police say three men were shot, one fatally, in separate incidents across Baltimore Wednesday. One man was killed in the city’s Fallstaff neighborhood by an unidentified man around 5:25 p.m. ... Read more »

Auto workers appear to favor direct election of leadership

DETROIT (AP) — Members of the United Auto Workers union appear to be in favor of picking their leaders in direct elections. With 72% of the ballots counted, nearly 63% ... Read more »

Michigan Officials Offer New Details of Oxford High School Shooting

Michigan officials on Wednesday, December 1, confirmed a fourth student death following a shooting rampage at Oxford High School the day before, and offered new details about the threat posed ... Read more »

‘He wanted me to beat him up': Key witness in Jussie Smollett trial testifies about actor's alleged plot to stage hate crime

1 / 2‘He wanted me to beat him up’: Key witness in Jussie Smollett trial testifies about actor’s alleged plot to stage hate crime CHICAGO — A detective who interviewed ... Read more »

Britain secures 114m extra shots of variant-busting Covid jabs – as UK moves closer to fourth dose

BRITAIN has secured 114 million extra doses of variant-busting Covid jabs – as the country moves closer to the fourth dose. Ministers have announced fresh deals for additional Pfizer and ... Read more »

US Capitol Christmas tree lights up for the season

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of Congress joined together outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday evening to light the official 2021 Capitol Christmas tree. ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic