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COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids

Published on May 28, 2021 and last reviewed on Mar 10, 2022   -  5 min read

Abstract

Children are more prone to fall ill, and they have traditionally been the primary recipient of vaccines. Please read the article to know about vaccination in children against COVID-19.

Contents
COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids

Introduction:

On considering the COVID-19 outbreak, parents are alarmed to register their children under a COVID-19 vaccine. The clinical trials for vaccinating children against this infectious disease are still under process. Scientists are seeking answers to prove how safe and effective vaccines are in children. It is still confusing that:

Researchers asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to extend its vaccine ​authorization for children as young as 12 years, and the clinical trials start in children as young as six months old. We should not assume that the vaccine will provide the same response in children as it does for adults. So, clinical trials should be completed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of children and younger teens before COVID-19 vaccines become available for them.

Do We Need to Vaccinate Children?

COVID-19 in kids is rare. Kids developing severe forms of COVID-19 and experiencing death is an extremely rare condition. It is noted that kids who had mild infections of COVID-19 developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C). The proven evidence of the COVID-19 vaccine blocking the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has given us the thought of vaccinating children for wider protection, but children are not super-spreaders. It is important to have herd immunity across all groups, and so children who can be susceptible to transmitting the virus need to be vaccinated. This is because the virus will continue to spread and survive if we do not close off the pathways.

Will the COVID Vaccine Trial Work on Children?

The vaccine trials in children under 12 years of age are the same as the early adult trials. The further trials will include children as young as six months, and they will receive a range of doses to assess what triggers a good immune response without too many side effects. To ensure the vaccine's safety and effectiveness, the researchers will have a follow on those vaccinated children for months and years. During clinical trials, informed consent will be given by the participating individual in adults, and as the child is a minor the informed consent should be given by a legal guardian who will agree with the involvement of a participating child.

How Do Children and Adults Respond to COVID-19 Vaccines?

Children’s immune systems work in a different way and they often undergo multiple changes as they grow from infancy towards adulthood. The child's immune system produces a strong immune response to the vaccine as their body is filled up with fresh growing cells. During the early trials, children between 12 to 15 years of age received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. They developed higher levels of virus-blocking antibodies when compared to individuals between 16 to 25 years of age who received the same dose. It is said that children who are still younger will receive the same immune response with a lowered dose. Children have a potent immune response and are more likely to develop a fever after the vaccination. So a balance should be maintained between triggering a strong immune response and minimizing the side effects. Recent studies have established a note on how a COVID-19 vaccine should be added to a child's immunization schedule to receive an expanded immunity.

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Necessary For School Entry?

The effect of COVID-19 in children has affected their well-being, where education for children is the most priority. In addition, the pandemic situation has made people visit the pediatric emergency department as social isolation has increased the change in mental health and increased anxiety in children and families. However, it is important to understand that these changes are not because of the direct effects of the virus on children, but getting children vaccinated will help to reduce this anxiety and mental illness. On gradually opening up the essential services like schools the health and safety of those children has become a priority for:

So to get into normalcy, vaccination for children is also highly needed to prevent the spread of the virus to the public and family members. As the COVID-19 vaccines are getting approved for children who are above the age of 5 years, the health authorities will recommend when and how children should get it. Besides, the government will start deciding which vaccines are needed for school entry. At the same time, ensure that your kids are vaccinated against measles, cough, influenza, and any other that your pediatrician recommends.

Do Children Have the Same Side Effects as Adults?

Your child can have the following symptoms:

These side effects should resolve in a few days. In case if your child develops a severe allergic reaction or if the symptoms are persistent then contact your nearby healthcare provider.

When Will Vaccines Be Ready For Children?

The study says that:

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is given in two doses for children above 5 through 11 years of age. There should be three weeks apart between the two doses. The same dosage of the adults is not used for children rather a lower dose is administered. The health experts have stated that this Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has met the criteria for emergency use authorization. And it is also shown that the benefits outweigh the risks.

It is known that infants have protection even before vaccination as and, when a mother is getting vaccinated, her antibodies are transmitted through the placenta and breast milk to the baby.

What Are the Companies Testing the COVID-19 Vaccine for Children?

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are under clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccines in children as young as:

Pfizer-BioNTech:

Currently the Pfizer vaccine is the only approved COVID-19 vaccine for children. It has been approved by the FDA for emergency use in children above the age of 5 years through 11 years.

Moderna:

Moderna vaccine was approved by the FDA for emergency use authorization by FDA for people above 18 years of age. The Kidcove study is Moderna's newest trial, and it will test that this vaccine works in children between 6 months to 12 years of age. Depending on the age, it tests in two dose levels and in 28 days apart. Moderna enrolls 6,000 children for this trial and 3,000 participants in its another COVID-19 vaccine trial for 12 to 17 years of age.

Conclusion:

The COVID-19 vaccine is our best hope to help us overcome this pandemic. We are looking forward to the day when children can:

The vaccine availability for our children depends only on the results of the clinical trials. But based on the current research, it is possible to get a vaccine for children before the 2022 school year begins. Even if you get vaccinated or not, following the COVID-19 safety protocols such as social distancing, frequently washing hands, staying away from crowded areas, wearing masks, and not touching the face frequently will help us reduce the spread and beat this pandemic.

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Last reviewed at:
10 Mar 2022  -  5 min read

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