•   
  •   
  •   

Health & Fit CDC Panel Recommends Pfizer Vaccine for Kids 5 to 11—Here Are Answers to Parents' Top 8 Questions

03:45  03 november  2021
03:45  03 november  2021 Source:   health.com

See Spice Girl Geri Halliwell's Daughter at 15

  See Spice Girl Geri Halliwell's Daughter at 15 Geri Halliwell's daughter Bluebell is now 15 years old, and the Spice Girls singer shared some rare photos of her recently.

At last, COVID-19 vaccines for younger children are almost ready for little arms.

diagram: AdobeStock / Getty © Provided by Health.com AdobeStock / Getty

On Tuesday, an advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) unanimously recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for US kids ages 5 to 11. If CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, accepts the panel's recommendation as anticipated, those shots may be available to children across the US as soon as this week.

diagram: Experts say the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. © AdobeStock / Getty Experts say the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.

The 14-0 vote by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) follows the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision on October 29 to authorize emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for that same age group. Parents clearly have a lot of questions about what that means for their kiddos.

8 Popular Myths About the COVID-19 Vaccine, Debunked

  8 Popular Myths About the COVID-19 Vaccine, Debunked These are the facts and nothing but the facts!Experts say the vaccine is safe and effective — even against the Delta variant — and that an increase in the number of people who get vaccinated will help get things back to normal faster, so we can return to concerts, crowded restaurants, traveling, and even prom.

Parents clearly have a lot of questions about what that means for their kiddos. Here, experts put concerns over the kids' COVID vaccine to rest.

Is the vaccine dose for children different from the one for adults?

The vaccine dosage for children ages 5 to 11 is one-third of the adult dose, or 10 micrograms, compared to 30 micrograms.

However, like adults, children will need two doses given approximately three weeks apart to achieve the full 90.7% efficacy rate found in Pfizer's clinical trials.

Are doses adjusted for height and weight like they are for some other children's medications?

Doses are not adjusted based on height or weight. That's because, unlike Tylenol, for example, vaccine dosage is based on the type of immune system response someone mounts, not the amount of fat in their body, Bhakti Hansoti, MD, director of Center for Global Emergency Care at John's Hopkins Medicine, tells Health.

21 Budget Honeymoon Vacation Ideas

  21 Budget Honeymoon Vacation Ideas There are plenty of reasonably priced vacation ideas to consider if you're flexible and willing to think outside the box.

"Children between the ages of 5 and 11 have an extremely efficient immune system. So, for them, the question was: what is the lowest dose we can give them that gets the desired immune response while also being safe?" Dr. Hansoti explains.

RELATED: COVID Vaccines for Kids 12-15: Your Biggest Fears Addressed by Experts

What are the side effects of the vaccine in children?

Children in this age group tend to experience fewer side effects than adolescents or adults, CDC's Kate Russell Woodworth, MD, pointed out during a presentation to the ACIP panel of experts.

According to Pfizer data, the most common side effect was pain at the injection site, followed by fatigue and headaches. Other potential side effects include redness and swelling at the injection site, fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain.

"Fever is often brought up as a common side effect of COVID vaccination, but among this age group, it really wasn't much of a factor at all," Fatma Levent, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at AdventHealth in Orlando, tells Health. "Kids actually tolerate vaccines really well."

Flying start: amazing airport lounges around the world

  Flying start: amazing airport lounges around the world No one likes being in the airport. It's a necessary evil so many of us put up with just to get to our desired vacation destination. To be frank, it's one of the worst parts of traveling. That is, unless you've got lounge access, of course. Some airport lounges are so swanky these days, you might even find it hard to leave. Here are some of the fanciest that are open now, or reopening in the coming months, as flying gets going once again.

Dr. Levent adds that if a child develops a fever due to their immune response to the vaccine, it's not going to cause any harm.


Video: What Causes Seizures? These Are the Most Common Risk Factors and Triggers, According to Experts (Health)

While there is no data thus far on potential long-term side effects of the COVID vaccine in children, Daniel Ganjian, MD, a pediatrician and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics tells Health he has few concerns. "The mRNA COVID vaccine is kind of like an email. You read it, you learn the data, and then you delete it. It trains your immune system how to fight COVID, but it doesn't stay in the body."

What should I do if my child in about to turn 12?

While children 5 to 11 receive a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine, those over the age of 12 receive an adult dose. Many parents may be wondering if they should wait until their child is 12 to receive the vaccine.

However, Dr. Hansoti advises against this. "Please have your children get their first dose as soon as possible. The pandemic is here, and we need to protect our children as soon as we possibly can," she says.

The US Is Getting Ready to Start Vaccinating Kids Ages 5–11 Against COVID-19—Here's How

  The US Is Getting Ready to Start Vaccinating Kids Ages 5–11 Against COVID-19—Here's How The plan, pending vaccine approval from both the FDA and CDC, will help immunize the approximately 28 million children in the US in that age group. White House officials announced Wednesday morning that preparations are underway to ensure that vials of the vaccine are available nationwide—and that there are enough health care providers to administer those jabs—if and when a vaccine is approved. The FDA's decision on Pfizer's COVID19 vaccine for these youngster is expected in the next couple of weeks, Jeffrey Zients, the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator said during an October 20 media briefing.

She recommends parents stick to the dose recommended for their child's age group. For example, if your child is 11 at the time of their first shot, they should have the 10-microgram dose. Then, if they turn 12 before their second shot, they should have the 30-microgram dose.

However, the Pfizer trial found the smaller dose to be just as effective for children who turned 12 at the time of their second dose. Therefore, the FDA guidelines on vaccination in children allow parents to choose which dose their child will receive if they turn 12 before their second shot.

RELATED: The US Is Getting Ready to Start Vaccinating Kids Ages 5-11 Against COVID-19—Here's How

Where can I have my child vaccinated?

Most children should be able to get vaccinated at their pediatricians, where they may feel more comfortable, Dr. Ganjian says.

"However, if your child's pediatrician does not offer the Pfizer vaccine, other vaccination sites for children include pharmacies, school-located vaccination clinics, some children's hospitals, and temporary community clinics," the CDC's Kevin Chatham-Stephens, MD, said during a presentation to the CDC advisory committee.

Can a child receive other vaccines, like the flu shot, alongside the COVID vaccine?

"You could and should have your child get any vaccine that is needed as soon as possible. There is no need to space them out," says Dr. Ganjin.

FDA Panel Endorses Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids 5-11

  FDA Panel Endorses Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids 5-11 Here's what happens next.

Multiple vaccines at once should not impact the severity of side effects since the vaccine themselves don't cause fever or body aches, Dr. Ganjin explains. Instead, it's the immune response to the vaccines—which is activated whether it's one shot or two— that causes the side effects.

RELATED: The CDC Urgently Recommends COVID-19 Vaccine for Pregnant People in New Health Advisory—Here's Why

What is the risk of vaccine-related myocarditis in children?

No cases of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, were seen among the 3,000-plus children involved in Pfizer's clinical trial of the COVID vaccine for 5- to 11- years-olds, CDC Epidemiologist Sara Oliver, MD, noted during her presentation to the CDC advisory panel.

Matthew Oster, MD, a pediatric oncologist and medical officer at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, pointed out during his presentation that getting COVID poses a much greater risk to the heart than getting vaccinated.

In fact, a September 2021 study in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found people of all ages with COVID-19 had a nearly 16-times greater risk of developing myocarditis than people without COVID.

"The bottom line is that getting COVID is much riskier to the heart than getting the vaccine regardless of age or gender," Dr. Oster told the advisory pane;. He even recommends that children with congenital heart defects get the vaccine since they are more likely to have severe outcomes if they contract COVID.

Should parents wait until there is more data before vaccinating their children?

Since the start of the pandemic, 1.9 million COVID cases, 8,300 hospitalizations, and 94 deaths have been reported in children between the ages of 5 and 11, according to a presentation given by the CDC's Senior Investigator Matthew Daley, MD. Therefore, parents should not wait to have their children vaccinated.

Your Top Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Ages 5 to 11, Answered by a White House Doctor

  Your Top Questions About the COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Ages 5 to 11, Answered by a White House Doctor Where can my kids get vaccinated? What are the possible side effects? Will they need a booster shot? We spoke with Marcella Nunez-Smith, M.D., a co-chair of President Biden's COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, to answer these questions and more. Kids ages 5 to 11 will get a smaller dose of Pfizer—two doses of 10 micrograms each, which is one-third of the adolescent adult dose. It will be given as two shots, spaced three weeks apart, and it's 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, according to an October 29 press release by the FDA.

Diego Hijano, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, tells Health that the messaging around kids and COVID vaccines needs to change. "With Delta we saw a lot of healthy kids get hospitalized and get complications, and while the Delta surge is coming down [in terms of daily cases], we still have a lot of new COVID-19 in children."

Additionally, children are the age group most affected by multiple inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), with 44% of cases occurring in children between the ages of 5 and 11, Jefferson Jones, MD, a CDC medical officer, told the advisory panel. MIS-C is a potentially life-threatening illness that occurs two to six weeks after COVID infection. It causes symptoms like fever, rashes, and red eyes, and can affect the heart, lungs, and blood vessels according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

"As of this point right now, the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks. The problem with waiting too long is that you're putting your child at risk, and the disease has much more effects than the vaccine. The vaccine is much safer than getting COVID," says Dr. Ganjian.

The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.

To get more inspiring stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

An Internal CDC Report Suggests That The Delta Variant Is As Contagious As Chicken Pox .
But more research is needed on the strain's severity and contagiousness.The new recommendations state that fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas with "substantial" and "high" COVID transmission, or nearly two-thirds of all U.S. counties.

usr: 1
This is interesting!