SAN ANTONIA – Due to the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized the vaccination against COVID-19 in healthy children aged 5 to 11, some parents may have questions or concerns about the vaccine.
A university health professional, Dr. Mandy Swatek, has answered some frequently asked questions when COVID cases in the U.S. and here in Bexar County are starting to rise again.
I thought kids couldn’t get COVID-19, so why should they get vaccinated?
Svatek: “Therefore, we believe that everyone can be infected with COVID. Most importantly, we have seen that COVID-19 has a much more aggressive effect on adults. But still COVID can give a whole range of symptoms in children. Some may be asymptomatic, some may have severe symptoms and end up in the hospital, and some may die from COVID. And so when you see that spectrum, we understand that some children who are positive for COVID may not show symptoms, while others may. ”
If my child is already sick with COVID-19, does he need to be vaccinated?
Svatek: “It is very important to vaccinate the child. Vaccines have been shown to show a long-term immune response in the long run. If you do have the disease, the immune response to other diseases is weakened and they find that it is very similar to COVID. It is therefore very important that you receive the vaccine to give you a much longer-term response and protection against future COVID disease ”.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect my child from future options?
Svatek: “We hope the vaccine will continue to protect against future options. But when things change, they continue to look at science and assure that these vaccines continue to be effective. So now the COVID vaccine is still showing that it is more effective than the flu vaccine. As we move forward, we need to continue to understand this and continue to look for further approval, perhaps for further changes in these vaccines, to continue to build an appropriate immune response. ”
What side effects may my child have from the COVID-19 vaccine and how should we treat them?
Svatek: “Thus, they have usually seen in studies very similar side effects compared to adults after the vaccine, but sometimes fewer. Pain in the arm is one of the most common results of the COVID vaccine. Fever and fatigue may also develop. These are mostly common symptoms. Obviously, if they have a fever, you can treat them with tylenol and just control them. And we have a secure reporting system for vaccines if they have other side effects, so they can be reported and recorded so the CDC and FDA can review them. ”
Why is it important for children to receive COVID-19 treatment?
Svatek: “Therefore, if you have received two doses of the vaccine, sometimes your immune response may weaken. And when new options emerge, you still want to protect your body. Therefore, it is important that this booster dose continues to be effective in preventing death and hospitalization. And so you want to keep initiating the right immune response to get the right response the next time another option comes along. ”
Can vaccinating my baby before puberty affect his development or future fertility?
Svatek: “It has been found that vaccinating your baby does not affect fertility or future development. And it is important to understand that this vaccine does not affect human DNA. It does not enter the nucleus of any cell. It is an RNA vaccine that helps the body develop protection against this adherent protein on COVID ”.
Can my child get other vaccinations if he gets the COVID-19 vaccine?
Svatek: “The CDC says it is possible to give this vaccine against COVID along with other vaccines. You want to make sure that you follow a proper schedule to protect your child from relevant diseases. And so there were no conflicts with getting the COVID-19 vaccine in addition to other vaccines. ”
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