As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the arrival of a pediatric vaccine for kids aged 5-11 is welcome news. However, it’s not uncommon for parents to have questions about whether their child needs this immunization and what they can expect in terms of safety and side effects. Read on for a look at answers to some common questions about the COVID vaccine for children.

My child is healthy. Do they really need the vaccine?

COVID-19 commonly causes only mild symptoms for children. However, the vaccine doesn’t only prevent them from getting sick; it also helps stop the spread of coronavirus. In addition, even with mild initial symptoms, there are many long-term effects associated with COVID-19. And while the absence of underlying health conditions does reduce your child’s risk of severe illness, hospitalization, or death, vaccination helps reduce infections on a widespread level. In turn, disruptions to schooling, afterschool sports, and other activities are minimized. Being able to maintain a normal routine will have numerous benefits for your child’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

Is the COVID vaccine safe for children?

COVID-19 vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Doses approved for children from ages 5-11 are smaller than the adult dose, yet they have proven to be highly effective in prompting an immune response—evidence presented to the FDA showed that the vaccine is 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID-19.

What are the common side effects of the vaccine?

Side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine for children are like those seen in other age groups. These include fatigue, arm pain, headaches, and muscle aches. These effects typically resolve in 2-3 days. Very rarely, vaccination is associated with inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis. This condition often improves quickly with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

If you have more questions about COVID vaccination for your child, MeMD can help you connect with a licensed medical provider who can answer your healthcare questions anytime, anywhere through our virtual platform.

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