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Understanding Covid-19 Vaccinations for Young Kids

COVID remains a problem in America today. Thankfully, vaccines reduce the risk of a person contracting the illness. If a person does get COVID and they are vaccinated, their symptoms are typically less severe. Recently, the FDA authorized the use of COVID vaccines for young children. What do parents need to know about these vaccines? 

Why Do Kids Need a COVID Vaccine?

Children rarely experience severe illness with this virus. This leads many parents to question whether their child needs the vaccine. The vaccine reduces the risk of the child getting the virus and unknowingly spreading it to others. In addition, the vaccine allows them to continue with their regular activities without worrying about being exposed and becoming severely ill. 

Which Vaccines are Available for Children?

The FDA has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as six months. The Moderna vaccine has been approved for children six months of age and older. The best pediatrician covid-19 vaccines are those the doctor determines are right for the individual. They know a child's medical history and can make recommendations based on this history. Multiple doses are needed for the highest level of immunity.

The Safety of the Vaccines

The FDA continues to study and monitor the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. Side effects of the vaccines have been mild to moderate. In initial studies, the vaccine was 91 percent effective in children between the ages of five and 11 and 100 percent effective in those between 12 and 15 years of age. The FDA continues to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine in children under the age of five. 

How Do the Vaccines Work?

Each COVID-19 vaccine uses messenger RNA or mRNA, and researchers have been studying vaccines using mRNA for decades now. Coronaviruses, such as COVID, contain a spikelike structure on their surface. This structure is known as an S protein. The vaccine instructs cells to make an S protein that is harmless. When a person is vaccinated, their muscle cells make pieces of this protein, which then appear on the surfaces of the cell. 

When the immune system sees this protein, it starts to establish an immune response. It makes antibodies to protect the person from the virus. After the mRNA does its job in the body, it naturally breaks down. People often worry it will enter the nucleus of the cell, which is the part of the cell where DNA is stored. The vaccine never enters the nucleus, so this concern can be laid to rest. 

Are There Long-Term Effects of COVID Vaccines?

Parents often worry there might be long-term effects of COVID vaccines. As these vaccines have only been developed recently, scientists cannot say definitively whether there are. However, mRNA vaccines have been studied for decades, so they feel confident these vaccines are safe. In addition, medical professionals continue monitoring individuals who have had the vaccine to record any reactions, which are then shared with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

Who Shouldn't Get the COVID Vaccine?

Health experts recommend every person get the COVID vaccine. However, a doctor might say a child should not get this vaccine. For example, any person who has had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients found in the COVID vaccine should not get it. As the doctor knows the child's prior history, they should make this determination. 

Parents want to protect their children from harm. The COVID vaccine can help them do so. Speak to the child's doctor today to determine which vaccine is right for the child's needs. They are here to help parents make this determination. 

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