LCHD provides guidance to parents, guardians regarding Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 12 expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 15, the Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) provided guidance to parents and guardians regarding the vaccine.
The Pfizer vaccine is the first in the U.S. to be authorized for people younger than 16.
LCHD’s guidance was derived from information provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Pfizer vaccine ‘safe and effective for children ages 12 to 15’
LCHD explained that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s decision to authorize emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 was “based on science and data from clinical trials, which found the vaccine to be safe and 100% effective for kids in this age group.”
“The Pfizer vaccine works like other childhood vaccines and teaches the immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19,” LCHD explained. “The vaccine does not contain any live or dead parts of the virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection.”
LCHD noted that, according to AAP, “There is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines.”
“In addition, the AAP notes that the vaccine does not affect puberty or a child’s reproductive development in any way,” LCHD added.
What to expect after vaccination
Side effects may occur after receiving the vaccine, such as a sore arm, fatigue, headache and a low-grade fever, “all of which are normal and mean that the vaccine is working,” LCHD said, noting that symptoms usually go away within one day and that those with questions or concerns should contact their child’s doctor.
“It is important that your child receives their second vaccine dose, three weeks after their first dose, to assure maximum protection,” LCHD stated. “A child is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive their second dose. As a parent, you can have confidence that your child is protected while they get back to doing the activities they enjoy.”
LCHD noted that fully vaccinated children “do not need to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure if they are feeling well.”
How to prepare for vaccination
LCHD said parents and guardians are encouraged to talk with their child’s pediatrician or doctor with questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Prior to the vaccine, be honest with your child and answer questions they may have,” LCHD added. “Remind them that the vaccine will keep them safe and healthy.”
Appointments can be scheduled through a doctor, pharmacy or vaccine clinic. For a list of local COVID-19 vaccine providers, visit www.vaccines.gov/.
Appointments are also available through LCHD at www.bit.ly/2Roexdl.
“Keep your child’s vaccine record card and bring it to their second vaccine appointment,” LCHD said, noting that a copy of the card should be made or a photo of the card should be taken and stored in a safe place. The card should not be laminated, in case additional information must be added in the future.
“Parents are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider, trusted community members, friends and family about the COVID-19 vaccine,” LCHD stated. “Conversations help increase knowledge and build understanding and trust. It is important that parents have their questions answered and feel confident in their vaccination decisions.”
More information from the AAP regarding the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at www.bit.ly/2RKd15N.