Parents, pediatricians, and schools have been waiting for this announcement. All children and adolescents ages 5 and up in the US may now receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC Advisory Committee approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 after the vaccine underwent the FDA’s rigorous testing and safety studies. In children ages 5 to 11, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was over 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, and there were no serious side effects.
Although in many children COVID-19 infection may have mild symptoms, children can have severe symptoms and even die from COVID-19. School-age children are at risk of acquiring a life-threatening condition called MIS-C. Children can also spread COVID-19 to close contacts such as friends, family, and teachers.
Vaccinated children are more likely to continue in-person learning in school, sports, and their other important extra-curricular activities. Thousands of children ages 5 to 11 have received the vaccine, and the vaccine is both safe and effective. In fact, the vaccine is so effective that children ages 5 to 11 receive a smaller dose of the vaccine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that all children and adolescents ages 5 and up receive the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine unless there is a contraindication to giving it, which would be rare. Millions of children ages 12 and up have already received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Talk to your pediatrician or community health care provider today about getting this protective vaccine for your child. If you have concerns or questions, please discuss them with your nurse or doctor. Notably, the mRNA technology behind the Pfizer vaccine is based on decades of research and is not new technology. The mRNA never enters a nucleus and cannot alter DNA. Additional information for parents from the AAP may be found at www.healthychildren.org.
“When the COVID-19 vaccine was approved for adolescents ages 12-15 back in May, I vaccinated my teen sons right away,” said KAAP President Kristie Clark MD, FAAP, who is a board-certified pediatrician. “If I had children between the ages of 5 and 11, I would vaccinate them now to protect them from this dangerous virus.”