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Young children could get a COVID-19 vaccine soon. Here's what you need to know

Ben Sessoms, The News & Observer on

Published in Parenting News

No causal link between the mRNA vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, and deaths have been found, according to CDC. A causal relationship between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and deaths caused by blood clots has been deemed plausible, though extremely rare.

“We have to put this all in context. If we focus too much on the very, very rare events, it drowns out the substantial benefits of these vaccines, and I think there is an agenda. On the one hand, we have a balance. We want people to know about the side effects. We want people to be informed. We don’t want to brush anything under the rug. Clearly, people should do their homework. They should know about it,” Wohl said. “But the risks we’re talking about are so minuscule.”

“Can you give me the list of side effects that have ever occurred per 100,000 people or a million people with the tetanus shot, or the hepatitis B shot or the shingrix shot? They don’t do that. Yet for these vaccines we have, and the scrutiny that’s being placed, I think, on one hand is appropriate, but on the other hand, I think can be distracting,” he said.

Other potential side effects of the vaccine include severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Other reactions include rash, itching, hives or swelling of the face. But these treatable side effects typically occur within 15 minutes of vaccination.

Other side effects reported are pain where the shot was injected, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills and fever.

The CDC continues to recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone age 12 and older.

“With half of humanity now vaccinated, we know a lot about their safety,” Wohl said. “There’s really very limited reason not to vaccinate a child in this age range. Certainly if there’s been a history of adverse reactions of some sort to other vaccines, to components that are shared between these vaccines and another vaccine. Those are extremely, extremely rare. But I can’t think of a broad group of people who are in this age group who should not get vaccinated.”

How much would vaccinations in this age group improve the overall rate?

According to 2020 population estimates from the CDC, there are 892,945 children in North Carolina ages 5 to 11 that would become eligible for the Pfizer vaccine if authorized by the FDA.


Those children are among the 4,956,746, based on the 2020 population estimates, that are unvaccinated in North Carolina.

As of Friday, 54% of all North Carolinians and 63% of those eligible, ages 12 and up, are fully vaccinated.

Is this the same vaccine given to adults?

The vaccine that would be given to children ages 5 to 11 would be one-third of the dose given to those age 12 and up.

This may require more or less dilution with each shot, or a different vial or syringe may be used, The New York Times reported.

Young children would still be given two doses, given three weeks apart.


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