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Drew: FAQS about COVID vaccine for children and teens

By Samuetta Hill Drew

Millions of adults have received one of the three U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 vaccine series while many are now taking their newly approved recommended booster shots.
Many of these individuals are parents and have been waiting to hear news about protection for their children and teens. Most of you are aware the FDA has given emergency authorization recently for children ages 5 to 15 years of age to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Before this emergency authorization was granted, scientists conducted clinical trials on youth in this age category.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) feels the COVID-19 vaccination outweighs the known and potential risks. The CDC states that parents should get a COVID-19 vaccine for their children ages 5 years and older as soon as they can. Note: COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored by the CDC for safety with the most comprehensive and intense safety monitoring program in U.S. history. With all the authorizations and recommendations many parents remain apprehensive and have questions about the children COVID-19 vaccination.
This article will address some of the parents’ most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5-12 according to the Children Health of Orange County (CHOC), a pediatric health care system based in Orange County, California and is considered in 2020-2021 one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. It has received this distinction for several years.
Q:      What COVID-19 Vaccine is available for by child under 12?
A:      At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) vaccine is the ONLY vaccine authorized for use in children ages 5-11 years. It is also the only vaccine authorized for children ages 12-17 years. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson Jansen (J&J Jansen) vaccines are currently only authorized for people ages 18 and older.
Q:      Are COVID-19 vaccines free?
A:      Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are free and available for children ages 5 years and older at local pharmacies, primary care practices, and vaccine clinics. You may need to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at some locations.
Q:      Do children receive the full-size dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?
A:      According to Pfizer’s clinical trial data, the company has determined that children ages 5-11 years should receive a 10-microgram dose size – one-third of the COVID-19 vaccine dose that everybody else receives.
With the one-third sized dose, children have demonstrated the same amount of robust immunity to COVID-19 as adolescents, teens, and adults.
To Keep an Eye on Safety for our children and teens, there will be subsequent articles exploring parents’ most frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine.