With the announcement that starting May 10, 2021, all persons 12 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, we have been getting a lot of questions regarding the vaccine and children. The following are our responses to the most common questions we are getting.
Q: Do the doctors of Forest Lane Pediatrics recommend children receive the COVID vaccine?
A: Yes, we recommend that all persons who are eligible for the vaccine receive it. If there is a concern a person might have a medical contraindication to getting the vaccine then that person should discuss their concern with their doctor.
- COVID vaccines will help keep your child, your family and your community safe.
- Fully vaccinated asymptomatic people (bit.ly/3edFZmX) can resume activities such as…
- Gathering indoors with other fully vaccinated people without masking or distancing.
- Gathering outdoors without masking, except in large settings.
- Not quarantining after a close contact COVID exposure or domestic travel.
- Not requiring a COVID test before or after domestic travel.
Q: Is the Vaccine safe?
A: Yes, all of the COVID vaccines available in Texas have completed clinical trials showing that they are safe. As of March, 24, 2021, 114 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and there has not been a single death attributed to the vaccine (contrary to what many peoples social media feeds will tell them). Not only have there been no deaths due to the vaccine, but the odds of dying from COVID after getting vaccinated are virtually non-existent. In fact you are 3 times more likely to get struck by lightning than you are of dying from COVID after getting vaccinated.
Q: Why should children be vaccinated?
A: It is true that children tolerate COVID-19 infection much better than adults and are at a much lower risk of severe disease or death compared to adults. However, we are seeing an increase in the number of children who are getting COVID and the risk of a more contagious or dangerous variant will continue to exist until we reach herd immunity. Fortunately we have an abundance of data showing that the vaccines are safe and the risk of bad outcome from COVID far exceeds any negative effects from the vaccine. Children should be vaccinated because it protects them from COVID and potential bad outcomes associated with COVID as well as increase the overall vaccination rates in our community. The more healthy people get vaccinated the sooner this pandemic ends and the greater protection we provide for people who can’t get vaccinated or are immune suppressed and don’t have strong protection from the vaccine.
- Children accounted for 22% of new weekly COVID cases during the week ending 4/29/21.
- The pediatric COVID case rate has risen steadily since the pandemic began:
|Date||Percent children of total cumulative cases||Cases per 100,000 children|
Q: Are there any long term side effects from the Vaccine?
A: The short answer is No. The long answer is that this is a difficult question to answer because the vaccine has been around for less than a year, but we can say that there is no mechanism by which it would be expected that the vaccine would cause long term side effects and there has been no evidence of people having long term or delayed side effects from the vaccine. What is clear is that some people who get infected with COVID-19 have symptoms that persist for many months resulting in a condition currently described as Long COVID. Interestingly, people suffering from Long COVID have started to report that their symptoms have resolved after getting the COVID vaccine. Long COVID is still a poorly understood disease and there are no studies confirming that the the vaccine is a cure for Long COVID, but the excellent safety data of the vaccine combined with recent reports of improvement in long term symptoms of people with COVID strongly suggest that the probability of long term symptoms from the vaccine are incredibly low. For more information about why scientist are confident there will be no long term side effects from the COVID vaccines and why there is so much misinformation saying there are long term side effects, check out this excellent article from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
- As of 5/1/21, over 235 million mRNA COVID vaccine doses have been given in the US.
- There have been no deaths attributed to mRNA COVID vaccinations.
- Typical side effects are mild (chills, headache, fatigue, pain, redness and/or swelling at the injection site) and caused by the immune system appropriately reacting to the vaccine.
- Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to an mRNA COVID vaccine dose is rare (2 to 5 people per million vaccine doses). For comparison, anaphylaxis to amoxicillin is about 100 times more likely.
- Scientists are confident that there will not be long-term side effects from the COVID vaccines.
Q: When can my child get the vaccine?
A: On May, 2021 all persons 12 years and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and all persons 18 and older are eligible for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Dr. Fauci has expressed optimism that children as young as first grade may be eligible for the vaccine as early as September. Ultimately it will depend on how quickly the vaccine studies in children can be completed. Forest Lane Pediatrics is proud to be participating in a COVID-19 Vaccine study for children ages 6 months – 12 years old. If you are interested in enrolling your child please email infoDallas@JavaraResearch.com.
Q: How do I get a vaccine for my child who is 16 or older?
A: Forest Lane Pediatrics has been approved to be a COVID Vaccination Site! As a result we will be able to vaccinate all patients who are eligible for the vaccine. We expect to get the vaccine the week of May 17. Once we have the vaccine we will begin scheduling patients.
Q: Does my child need the vaccine if he has already had COVID?
A: Yes. While natural infection with COVID-19 does provide some immunity to future infection, it is clear that the immunity gained from the vaccine is superior. This is still an area of great interest, but so far the data suggests that the vaccine produces longer term immunity against COVID-19 and greater protection against COVID Variants than natural infection without the risk of developing Long COVID.
Q: Does the vaccine affect future fertility?
A: No. There is is zero evidence supporting the claim that the vaccine will cause infertility and any person or source claiming otherwise should not be trusted. We now have data from the vaccine trials where the incidence of miscarriages in the vaccine group and the placebo group were compared and there was no difference. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) released a joint statement: “No loss of fertility has been reported among trial participants or among the millions who have received the vaccines since their authorization, and no signs of infertility appeared in animal studies.” For additional information about why the vaccine does not cause infertility check out this helpful post.