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Is your child anxious about the COVID vaccine? Are you? Doctors address concerns

Richard Stradling, The News & Observer on

Published in Health & Fitness

"To me this is a really a no-brainer," he said. "The vaccines are safe. We tried it out on half of humanity before we gave it to 5- and 11-year-olds. We gave it to half the people on the planet. Can't do better than that to prove how safe and effective it is."

What about side effects?

There are side effects, and they're roughly the same in children as adults, said Dr. Peyton Thompson, a pediatric infectious diseases professor. But they tend to be mild (most commonly a sore arm) and not last long, Thompson said.

"While you're likely to have some fatigue, some headache, some body aches — I had them — they're likely to go away within a day or two after the vaccine," she said.

What about the heart conditions we've heard about?

There have been cases of an inflammatory heart condition known as myocarditis following vaccination for COVID-19. It's very rare, Thompson said, ranging from 20 to 40 cases for everyone 1 million doses of the vaccine. It occurs primarily in men in their late teens and 20s.

 

The COVID-related cases of myocarditis and a related condition called pericarditis have mostly been mild and are easily treated with medication and rest, according to the CDC.

Thompson said people who are worried about developing myocarditis should know that it's also a side effect of COVID-19, resulting in about 450 cases for every million people infected with the coronavirus.

What about long-term side effects?

The CDC says no long-term side effects have emerged from using the coronavirus vaccines. And that's because of how they work, said Thompson. The vaccines stimulate an immune response to the coronavirus, leaving behind antibodies that that are able to fight off future infections.

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