Thanks to the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine, life is beginning to return to some pre-pandemic normalcy. Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 through 15. The FDA previously gave this vaccine emergency use authorization for people age 16 and older.
Dr. Tina Ardon, a family medicine physician and mom of three, joined us to talk about what this means for teens and tweens.
The big takeaway is that similar to adults, the Pfizer vaccine for children requires two injections and carries the same common side effects as other vaccines. Side effects may include headache, fatigue, chills, muscle aches, fever and soreness at the injection site. More adolescents reported these side effects after the second dose of the vaccine. However, some people have no side effects.
Additionally, Dr. Ardon noted that there are no fertility concerns with young people being immunized. She encouraged parents to talk to their pediatricians or family health care provider if they had specific concerns regarding their children.
She also still encouraged mask-wearing as appropriate and following other guidelines until children are fully vaccinated and in situations where they may generally be exposed to more germs.