Should 11-year-olds wait until they are 12 to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

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Parents of children aged 12 and under should not be concerned about receiving a lower dose COVID-19 vaccine. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
  • Both the FDA and the CDC this week approved Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds.
  • In the U.S.. children ages 12 and older get the full regimen of COVID-19 vaccines — 2 full doses, like adults, Younger people get around a third of it, whereas older people get about a quarter.
  • This has caused parents of 11-yearolds, who are about to turn 12, to be confused about the timing of COVID-19 vaccinations and how to administer them.
  • Experts say it is best to get whatever vaccine is available right away rather than hold out for a full dose as there won’t be much of a difference in kids’ immune responses at that age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)After recommending that children aged 5-11 years get the Pfizer BioNTech pediatric vaccine, the final approval was given.

The amount of vaccine is a major difference between adult and pediatric doses.

The vaccine will be 10 microgramsA third of the amount will be given to children 12 years old or older.

Children in the younger age bracket will also receive two shots with 21 days between.

The decision came after unanimous voting by a CDC advisory committee, followed by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky’s endorsement.

“We know millions of parents are eager to get their children vaccinated and with this decision, we now have recommended that about 28 million children receive a COVID-19 vaccine. [A]s a mom, I encourage parents with questions to talk to their pediatrician, school nurse, or local pharmacist to learn more about the vaccine and the importance of getting their children vaccinated.”
– CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Last week, the vaccine was approved for children.

The rollout has begun. It is expected that the vaccines will be fully operational by next week.

However, parents with children close to 12 years old are left in a quandary. They wonder if it is better to wait a few more weeks or months to give their children the full COVID-19 vaccines, or if they should wait until they turn 12 to get the pediatric dose.

Here’s what experts have to say:

A review of CDC dataThe results showed that vaccinating reduces the chance of being seriously ill or hospitalized 10 times and 5 times respectively.

Unvaccinated Americans were also 11x more likely to die from the Delta variant.

Amichai Perlman, PhD, PharmD, pharma domain expert at K Health, said that waiting to get vaccinated could increase a child’s risk of becoming sick with COVID-19.

While children are less likely to develop COVID-19 complications than adults, and they are not as likely to become sick, the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases has risen since the introduction of Delta. fivefoldDuring the summer.

More than 8,300According to U.S. data, COVID-19 has resulted in the hospitalization of children ranging from 5 to 11. A third of these children required intensive care. Ninety-four other children have also been affected. died. Coronavirus is one of the top 10 causes of death for children this age.

It is impossible to predict whether children will be sicker or faster after COVID-19.

“The reason I would not wait is that they may get a COVID-19 infection while they are waiting. It’s better to give them the smaller dose and have their body prepared for future exposures now, rather than wait for a larger dose later and risk infection in the meantime,” said Dr. Sarah BossletIndiana University Health’s primary care pediatrician, Dr..

FDA reviewed two doses of the 10-microgram dose and found that both had adverse effects. 91 percent efficacy rate. The review was based on data from Pfizer’s trial, which monitored 2,268 children.

In younger children, there were no unexpected side effects and safety concerns.

Children complained most often of fatigue, pain at the injection site, headaches, and other side effects.

Perlman stated that parents should not worry about following the recommended dosage for their children.

“The Pfizer vaccine has been found to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 in the doses tested [for children],” he said.

In certain aspects, the smaller dose proved to be more effective.

“The trials found that in children aged 5-11, the lower dose (10 micrograms) produced similar levels of antibodies as the full dose in adults, caused fewer side effects, and provided high protection from COVID-19.”
– Dr. Amichai Perlman

The age divide isn’t as clear-cut, as many think. However, it has to do how the immune system functions.

“There are some changes in the immune system with age, though it would be difficult to pinpoint a specific cut-off predicting the effect of dose by age. Clinical research is therefore done using age groups that represent different stages of growth, and provide us with ‘hard data’ on the expected results of vaccination in each group and guide treatment by age,” explained Perlman.

“[Scientists]The lower dose worked well for 11-almost-12-year-olds. The dose is based on immune system maturity, and waiting a few weeks for the larger dose is not necessary,” said Bosslet.

Perlman said that the exact effects of the different doses on long term efficacy and rare side effects (like myocarditis), are still unknown. “The data to date shows both doses are very effective and have good safety when given in the appropriate age group,” he said.

Bosslet noted that parents need to be aware that their children will get the same doses for both doses of COVID-19. In other words, if their child turns 12 in the interim, he or she will not receive an adult dose.

Experts agree that the only thing that matters when choosing the dose of the COVID-19 vaccination for children is their age.

So, your child’s height or weight will not determine whether they get a microdose or the full dose.

Perlman stressed the fact that dosing was not dependent on height or body weight, unlike paracetamol or other painkillers like acetaminophen or some antibiotics.

“The vaccine acts at the injection site by stimulating an immune response. This immune response affects the whole body and is not dependent on body size. In the clinical trials, the dose of the vaccine was not adjusted to children’s weight or height,” he said.

Children who have experienced a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), or an immediate allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccination are the only exceptions. ingredientsThe Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Polyethylene glycol is an example of such an ingredient.

Parents with children under 5 years old will have to wait for a formal decision. Currently, a 3-microgram dose is being trialed.

Bosslet stated it was fine for people to receive multiple shots during one visit.

A U.K. studyFor example, one study showed that having both a flu vaccine as well as the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the same day was safe.

The flu vaccine was administered in two arms. This is to test if one of the injections causes a local reaction.

“According to the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine can be given simultaneously with other routine vaccines, as this is not expected to impact their safety and efficacy,” said Perlman.

Perlman stated that parents should talk to their healthcare professionals if they have any concerns.

“Some vaccines have more side effects than others, and you may want to separate them. However, it is important to ensure you don’t miss the routine vaccines,” he added.

Source: Health Line

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