An infectious disease expert answers common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids
The Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine is now authorized for use in children ages 12 and older. While this is an exciting step to protect more people from COVID-19, parents may have questions or feel uncertain about getting their child vaccinated.
"I understand parents' potential anxiety," says Jeffrey Kahn, M.D., Director of Infectious Disease at Children's Health℠ and Professor at UT Southwestern. "There is always going to be some hesitancy to a new vaccine given to children. This is what we have found, historically, with a variety of vaccines that are now routinely used in kids, such as the chickenpox vaccine. But now, we rarely see a child with chickenpox."
Dr. Kahn reminds parents that there are many benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. It not only keeps kids safe and healthy, but also will help them return to life as normal. He answers some common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids to help parents feel confident and informed about their decision.
When will children be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
On May 10, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer-BioNTech for use of the COVID-19 vaccine in ages 12-15. The vaccine was already approved for use in ages 16 and up. This means that children and teens ages 12 and older can now get vaccinated.
It is not yet known when younger children will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinical trials are now determining the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as 6 months old. Pending clinical trial results, Pfizer plans to seek approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for younger children by fall 2021.
What are the benefits of vaccinating children for COVID-19?
The COVID-19 vaccine is very effective at preventing illness from COVID-19. Benefits of vaccinating children against COVID-19 include:
Follow the link as Dr. Kahn explains more about vaccine safety, efficacy and how to make smart choices for your family.