Pfizer vaccine approved for kids 12 and older: What parents need to know

Coronavirus

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Now that a CDC advisory committee and the American Academy of Pediatrics both endorse using Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15 years old, what do parents need to know if they are planning to get their children vaccinated? 

“The main thing you need to know is the Pfizer vaccine was just approved for kids between age 12 and 15 after a study showed that it was safe and reliable in children,” Dr. Lionel Herrera, MD/Pediatrician at San Ramon Regional Medical Center, said. 

It is important to note that in the state of California, a parent or guardian must be present to give consent that a child can be vaccinated.

“Someone would need to give the parent a brief about the vaccine and then the parent would have to sign off that they understand that they’re risks and benefits with the vaccine,” Dr. Herrera said. 

He says the study shows that the side effect profile for a child is similar to adults who get the vaccine, including injection site pain, fever, and fatigue.

“And there was more fainting, noticed in that group. So there is going to be a precaution for kids to be watched carefully after they receive their vaccine,” Dr. Herrera said. 

Health professionals say children getting vaccinated for COVID-19 will help alleviate some of the anxiety about students being carriers of the virus when they return to the classroom in the fall. 

However, vaccine hesitancy remains an issue. He talks about the results of a recent study.

“Only about 30% of the parents of the parents would give their children the vaccine without any hesitancy and, I think with education and, knowing now that we have these studies showing that it is safe and effective in children, with a little bit of education we will be able to increase those numbers,” Dr. Herrera said.

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