What Parents Need to Know about Kids and the COVID-19 Vaccine
To help in the fight against the coronavirus, Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics encourages our patients, their families and our community to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation for those six months and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Boys Town Pediatrics and Boys Town Internal Medicine are offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to patients ages six months and older. Call 531-355-1234 or your primary care clinic today to schedule a vaccine appointment for you and/or your child.
Common Parents' Questions Answered by Our Pediatricians
What vaccine(s) are approved for children?
Boys Town Medical Clinics is offering only the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which is FDA-authorized for children six months and older. Other vaccines approved are the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and Novavax. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-shot series for children 6 months to 5 years. The second shot will be given four weeks after the first.
Is the vaccine safe and effective?
What makes the vaccine safe and effective is that it produces a piece of the virus called a spike protein. While not an active virus, this structure mimics COVID-19 and teaches the body how to react should it recognize an active COVID-19 spike protein in the future.
What you should know:
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
- COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
- You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
- COVID-19 vaccines are a bivalent product. Patients 6 years and older only need one dose of the bivalent vaccine.
- With the Moderna vaccine, it typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose.
There is some information circulating about specific safety concerns. Parents should know that the vaccines:
- Do not contain a live virus
- Do not change a patient's DNA
- Do not affect fertility
What should I expect when my child gets the vaccine?
A clinical trial of the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months to five years showed that the children's immune systems responded similarly to those of older teens and young adults. The most adverse reactions were mild to moderate in severity, and no serious adverse reactions were reported. They usually happen within two days of the vaccination. The most common side effects include:
- Pain or redness where the shot was given
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
Clinical trials have shown that some recipients have side effects because of the vaccine. This is a normal reaction to the body building protection, and the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risk of any potential side effects.
Remember, not everyone will have these effects. If your child has no side effects, that does not mean the vaccine isn't working.