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COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids

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COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids

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Children have been the primary recipient of vaccines as they are more prone to fall sick. Read the article to learn about COVID-19 vaccines for kids.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. C. Elanchezhian

Published At May 28, 2021
Reviewed AtJanuary 25, 2023


Considering the COVID-19 outbreak, parents are alarmed to register their children under a COVID-19 vaccine. 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. People 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.

Is There a 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 people 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 to 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 expanded immunity.

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Necessary For School Entry?

The effect of COVID-19 on 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 essential services like schools the health and safety of those children have become a priority for:

  • Public health.

  • Governments.

  • Society.

So to get 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 five 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 the pediatrician recommends.

Do Children Have the Same Side Effects as Adults?

Your child can have the following symptoms:

  • Pain.
  • Redness.
  • Swelling.
  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.
  • Fever and chills.

These side effects should resolve in a few days. In case 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:

  • First 6 to 11 years of age will be vaccinated.
  • Then vaccination for children between 2 to 5 years of age.
  • Followed by 6 months to 2 years of age.

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:

  • Six months old.

  • In older children.

  • In teens.


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 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.


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

  • Spend time with friends.

  • Travel ​with their families.

  • Enjoy their communities safely.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Mean by Vaccination?

A vaccination protects an individual from contracting a disease by administering a vaccine, typically through injection. Parents refuse to send their kids for vaccinations out of fear. Anyone who wishes to stay healthy should consider vaccinating against the flu.


Does One Need to Vaccinate Five-Year-Old?

Yes, depending on the age and level of immunity. The experts suggest the following for kids. One can give a Pfizer-BioNTech booster to kids ages 5 to 17. An extra booster can be given to children 12 years and older with specific medical issues linked to immunosuppression. 


Why Do Immunizations Not Work?

The immune system is stimulated by vaccinations to identify and combat disease-causing germs. However, immunizations fail for two major reasons: 
- The vaccine delivery mechanism fails to deliver effective vaccinations to those who need them.
- The immune response fails, whether due to deficiencies in the vaccine or characteristics inherent in the host.


Why Are Immunizations Necessary?

Vaccines act in conjunction with the body's natural defenses to create immunity. As a result, the immune system reacts when receiving a vaccination. As a result, more than 20 deadly illnesses may now be prevented with vaccinations, allowing individuals of all ages to enjoy longer, healthier lives.


What Is the Prime Reason for Parents’ Refusal to Vaccinate?

Parents' religious convictions are one of the most often cited justifications for not vaccinating their kids. However, research has uncovered elements including apprehension about side effects, bad vaccination experiences, and doubt about the effectiveness of vaccinations.


Why Is the COVID Vaccination Required for Children?

With the growing immune systems of newborns, infections that might result in major injury or death are more likely to be prevented by vaccinations. According to pediatricians, postponing vaccinations increases the risk of diseases in youngsters and should never be done. Their protection against potentially fatal infections depends on timely immunization.


What Impact Does Age Have on a Drug’s Effectiveness?

The manner that medications are absorbed and utilized might alter as individuals age due to changes in their bodies. For instance, alterations to the digestive system may slow down the rate at which medications enter circulation. The amount of medication that needs to take and how long it will last in the system might change depending on the body weight.


When Do Kids Become Ill the Most?

Children under six months old can still get sick, but illnesses in children over six months old are more prevalent since older children tend to put their hands, and therefore germs, in their mouths. Children as young as seven and eight years old may have a cold every year. They catch five to six colds a year on average when they are in school. Adults and teenagers can catch a cold up to four times a year.


Do Children Suffer From Colds More Than Adults?

Due to their lack of defenses against the more than 100 distinct cold viruses that are common, young children catch more colds than older kids and adults do. From their siblings, parents, other family members, playmates, or carers, kids might get colds.


Who Is Happier, Children or Adults?

Children are always playing and hanging out, which keeps them relaxed. Though it may appear like kids have it easy, stress is a relative concept. Children certainly appear better able to relax and enjoy themselves, but a terrible day for a youngster is still horrible.


What Is It Referred to as When Grownups Act Like Kids?

Traditionally, a grown man who exhibits signs of Peter Pan syndrome is believed to be immature and childlike despite his age. The syndrome, which is also known as Little Prince (or Princess) syndrome, is not regarded as an established mental ailment. Regression is the act of reverting to juvenile conduct in an effort to evade the truth and responsibilities of adulthood.


Do Adverse Drug Reactions Run in Families?

Adverse drug responses (ADRs) constitute a significant clinical issue. Individual vulnerability to dose-dependent and dose-independent ADRs can be influenced by genetic factors. The most frequent clinical symptoms of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in older persons are falls, orthostatic hypotension, dementia, renal failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and cerebral hemorrhage.
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Dr. C. Elanchezhian
Dr. C. Elanchezhian

General Medicine


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