By Samuetta Hill Drew
As another new strand of COVID-19 has been identified, parents continue to have questions about the recently approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children and teens. Therefore, last week’s safety article began addressing some of the most frequently asked questions by parents. The references continue to be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as Children Health of Orange County (CHOC). CHOC is a pediatric healthcare system based in Orange County, California and is considered one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals in 2020-2021 by U.S. News & World Report. CHOC has received other notable distinctions over the years. So, let’s jump right into the Q & As.
Q: Why should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Getting a COVID-19 vaccination can help protect your child from getting COVD-19 and spreading it to others. It can also keep your child from becoming seriously ill or need hospitalization if they do contract COVID-19.
The restrictions on children’s activities, in-person learning and other socialization opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic caused a mental health crisis in this age group. The COVID-19 vaccine may give families the peace of mind to safely return to activities more fully, which will benefit your kid’s mental health tremendously.
Q: My child already had COVID-19. Should they have the vaccine?
A: Yes. It is not known how long the immunity lasts from natural illness, and the vaccine is made to create a longer-lasting immune response.
Q: Do I need to accompany my child to the vaccination?
A: Yes. Anyone under 18 must have parent or legal guardian present to receive the vaccine.
Q: Do they really need to come back for a second COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Yes. Clinical trials that led to the Pfizer vaccine’s licensing incorporated two (2) doses. So, the determined efficacy is based on two doses and it is not yet known how effective one dose alone is. The Johnson & Johnson/Jassen vaccination is administered in one dose, but at this time it is ONLY approved for people ages 18 and older.
Q: Can my child take their normal medications before the COVID-19 vaccine?
A: Yes. Your child should continue to take their normal medications as prescribed.
Because of the importance of parents’ concerns and their desire to Keep an Eye on Safety for themselves and their families, we will continue this series for a few more weeks. We want parent concerns both big and small addressed.