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Pediatric COVID Vaccine Now Available

The CDC has approved Pfizer’s Covid 19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.  This is administered as two injections into the muscle given 3 weeks apart.  Children should not receive this vaccine if they have any severe allergy to any of the ingredients.   The vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4- hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, sucrose, and sodium chloride.   The vaccine does not contain SARS CoV-2 and cannot give your child Covid 19.  There are no preservatives in the vaccine.  Because of this, once opened, a ten-dose vial needs to be administered over a finite period of time.  We plan to schedule several Covid vaccine clinics in order to avoid wasting available vaccine and be able to offer the vaccine to as many children as possible.

The following is taken from the Vaccine Information Fact Sheet for the Pediatric Covid vaccine:

What are the Benefits of the COVID Vaccine?

The vaccine has been shown to prevent COVID-19. The duration of protection against COVID-19 is currently unknown.

What are the Risks of the COVID Vaccine?

There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after getting a dose of the vaccine. For this reason, your child’s vaccination provider may ask your child to stay at the place where your child received the vaccine for monitoring after vaccination. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face and throat
  • A fast heartbeat
  • A bad rash all over the body

Dizziness and weakness Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart) have occurred in some people who have received the vaccine.

In most of these people, symptoms began within a few days following receipt of the second dose of vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low. You should seek medical attention right away if your child has any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine: ∙

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

Side effects that have been reported with the vaccine include:

  • severe allergic reactions
  • non-severe allergic reactions such as rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the face
  • myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
  • pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart)
  • injection site pain
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • injection site swelling
  • injection site redness
  • nausea
  • feeling unwell
  • swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy)
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • arm pain
  • fainting in association with injection of the vaccine

These may not be all the possible side effects of the vaccine. Serious and unexpected side effects may occur. The possible side effects of the vaccine are still being studied in clinical trials. 

What Should I Do About the Side Effects?

If your child experiences a severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest hospital. Call the vaccination provider or your child’s healthcare provider if your child has any side effects that bother your child or do not go away. Report vaccine side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or report online to https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html. Please include “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA” in the first line of box #18 of the report form.