FAQs for COVID-19 video for under 5
1. If young children are at lower risk for getting severely ill with COVID-19, why should they get vaccinated?
Though children are less likely to develop severe COVID and need hospitalization, we must remember that there are other reasons for vaccination against COVID:
Long COVID is still a great unknown for the pediatric population. Studies have shown that the COVID vaccine can reduce the burden of long COVID by 15-50%.
Social distancing and mask wearing are not necessarily appropriate or feasible with the 6mo-4yo population. The stress placed on the family with continual illness is greatly disruptive. Disrupted childcare leads to disrupted work life which adds to the overall burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2.My child already had COVID-19. Should they still get vaccinated?
Excellent question. Many studies that have shown that the overall immune response after having the virus varies greatly and is dependent on the severity of the case that they had. To put it simply: mild illness produced little to no long-term protection for children and adults. In fact, 32% of all children infected with COVID failed to make any antibodies against COVID.
We have evidence that shows that the COVID-19 vaccine produces an immune response that is sufficient to greatly reduce the development of severe COVID and the need for hospitalization.
Moreover, the evidence shows that vaccine + infection (hybrid immunity) is the best source of broad protection. Though no one is advocating for your child to get infected with COVID, we can rest assured that they will have robust protection with the addition of vaccination.
3. If community spread is low, why should my child get vaccinated?
As we continue to transition through the phases of this pandemic, we continue to experience the inevitable peaks and valleys of infection. Currently, our positivity rate in Maryland is >8%. That’s a pretty significant number when discussing community spread. Getting your child vaccinated now is the best way to ensure their protection as we ride the viral rollercoaster that is COVID.
4. Are the COVID vaccines safe for young children and have they been tested enough?
Yes. the COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Clinical trial data conducted on thousands of children, and the safety monitoring of the millions of children aged 5 to 17 years who have already been vaccinated, have shown the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children.
5. What are the side effects from the COVID vaccine?
Common side effects are pain and swelling at site of injection, like with any other vaccine. Some children may have fatigue, headaches, muscle aches and fever as the vaccine teaches your immune system how to mount an immune response towards the virus. Some children have NO side effects. Severe allergic reactions to the vaccine are RARE.
6.My child has chronic medical conditions. Should my child still get the vaccine?
We are recommending that children with chronic medical conditions get vaccinated. There are no contraindications to getting the COVID 19 vaccine short of allergies to a component in the vaccine.
7. Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?
Yes! It is both safe and effective to receive COVID vaccine along with other routine vaccinations.
8. Should I wait for my child’s next well visit or schedule the COVID vaccine ASAP?
We recommend vaccination as soon as you are able.
9. What happens if my child does not receive all the recommended doses?
We cannot guarantee the expected immune response after 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine. It is critical for your child to receive the full 3 dose series to ensure the expected immune response. We will be working to schedule all doses of vaccine at the same time to ensure your child has dedicated time on our schedule to complete the full series at the recommended intervals.