Now that kids ages 12 to 15 are eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, some parents have a lot of questions. The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics says that is totally understandable.
“It’s absolutely ok,” said Dr. Lee Beers. “As parents our job is to know and understand the medical care for our kids, so its totally ok to have questions.”
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Beers says pediatricians are reporting that most often, the kids themselves are excited to receive the vaccine since they have put so much on hold over the past year.
She says the vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective in that age group. Some may worry the shot was rushed, but Beers says what was hurried was administrative red tape. She says the science and testing itself followed cautious and appropriate protocols.
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Beers says kids might experience the same type of side effects as adults, including fatigue and soreness at the injection site and it’s important to communicate with them so they know what to expect.
She says it’s important to protect your child to keep them from spreading the virus, but also because serious complications in kids do happen. Those cases are rare, but about 300 kids have died in the U.S. from COVID, Beers said.
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“It’s important to talk to them about why you think the vaccine is important to them, to really help protect them and keep them safe so they can get back to doing their usual activities and do that safely and without fear,” she said. “And you can assure them its no differently than any other shot.”
For answers to many frequently asked questions about the vaccine, the American Academy of Pediatrics has set up a special section on its website.
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Beers also encourages parents to reach out to their child’s pediatrician if they have questions.