With the announcement that starting March 29, 2021, all persons 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in Texas, 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.
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: 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.
Q: When can my child get the vaccine?
A: On March 29, 2021 all persons 16 years and older are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and all persons 18 and older are eligible for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For children less than 16 we do not know. 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: Your child will need to register with the county to receive the vaccine. Click the appropriate city or county link below to be taken to the registration website.
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.