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Vaccinations of children against Covid-19: Pediatricians say some parents are eager to vaccinate their children, while others ask questions

 | Local News

Vaccinations of children against Covid-19: Pediatricians say some parents are eager to vaccinate their children, while others ask questions

| Local News | Today Headlines

And parents ask them a lot of questions: When can my child come to be vaccinated? And what are the side effects?

But before administering the vaccine, doctors’ offices await the green light from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, of course, they wait for the vaccines themselves.

Some 28 million children aged 5 to 11 are eligible for the vaccine, and pediatricians and pharmacies are already preparing to administer their injections, once the CDC recommends it. On Tuesday, the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices meets to discuss vaccines.

As the nation approaches this historic moment in the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccinating the youngest age group to date against Covid-19, pediatric offices report that the mood in parents is a mix of eagerness and reluctance.

“This is what I expected”

For Dr Christina Johns, senior medical advisor at PM Pediatrics and a pediatrician in Annapolis, Maryland, the mix of moods is what she expected.

“Two-thirds of families are excited about the vaccine – these families want to be on the front line and enroll their children when available,” Johns wrote in an email to CNN about the families of his patients.

“A third of families, on the other hand, are still hesitant and have questions,” she added. “This is what I expected and it matches data from other medical groups.”

Dr. Ania Wajnberg, director of clinical antibody testing at Mount Sinai Hospital, has seen a similar mix of moods around childhood immunizations.

“I think about a third are dying to do it. I’m part of that group,” said Wajnberg, a mother of two, aged 5 to 11. She added that the pandemic has been difficult for children as many have been socially estranged from friends and relatives, and some families see vaccination as a way to bring children a new level of freedom as well as a certain degree of freedom. protection against Covid-19.

“Then I think there are about a third of them who are nervous and want to wait a bit,” Wajnberg said. “So they might feel more comfortable after a few weeks or a few months when hundreds of thousands or millions of children have figured it out. And then, of course, there can be a group that wants to wait for a little longer. “

The questions some parents ask themselves

The majority of American parents in a national survey said they will not get their young children immunized right away.

The survey, released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that among parents of children aged 5 to 11, only 27% said they were eager to vaccinate their children against the virus as soon as a vaccine becomes available. A third say they will wait a bit to see how the vaccine works and 30% said they definitely won’t get the vaccine for their 5-11 year olds.

About 76% of those surveyed said they were “very” or “a little” concerned about long-term side effects, while 71% worried about serious side effects. A growing number of people also seemed to believe in the myth that vaccines could impact fertility. About 66% of those surveyed said they were “very” or “a little” concerned that the vaccine could negatively impact their child’s future fertility.

These are some of the same concerns parents shared with Shapiro, the California-based pediatrician and father.

Most of the parents of his patients asked, “What are the side effects? “” What do we know about fertility? And the third, ‘If I want to have it, when can I have it?’ These are the three main questions, ”Shapiro said.

In its announcement on the authorization of the vaccine for children, the FDA noted that the safety of the vaccine has been studied in approximately 3,100 children between the ages of 5 and 11 who have received the vaccine. No serious side effects were detected in the current study.
Vaccinations of children against Covid-19: Pediatricians say some parents are eager to vaccinate their children, while others ask questions

 | Local News

Common side effects reported in the clinical trial included arm pain at the injection site, redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle or joint pain, chills, fever, Swollen lymph nodes, nausea and decreased appetite.

Side effects were generally mild to moderate and occurred within two days of vaccination, and most went away within one to two days, the FDA reported. More children reported side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.

“And of course you ask yourself the question, ‘What’s going on with fertility? Right now we have a lot of good information that this is absolutely not happening. There is no reason for parents to be afraid of infertility in children, ”Shapiro said.

“And a lot of parents really want to be vaccinated,” he added. “But the question is when? Should I use another day of school? Do we need to lose another day of work? There are a lot of other complicated questions.”

Shapiro said he hopes children will be vaccinated quickly so the United States will avoid a severe increase in Covid-19 cases this coming winter.

“We are closing the window on which we can make a huge difference for December, January and February. This is my main concern right now,” Shapiro said.

“At the moment, if we don’t do something forcefully, I am extremely worried about what will happen in December,” he said. “We know it takes six weeks to make a difference. So if I get the vaccine on November 1, my body will defend me completely by December 15. So the window is now – for adults and for children. “

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is given in two doses three weeks apart, and people are generally considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose.

“The biggest challenge right now is the unknown”

Pfizer’s vaccine for young children is not only reformulated to one-third the dose, but repackaged – with a new orange cap, so it will be difficult to mix with the adult vaccine.

Vaccinations of children against Covid-19: Pediatricians say some parents are eager to vaccinate their children, while others ask questions

 | Local News
The Biden administration has obtained enough vaccines to immunize the 28 million children aged 5 to 11 who are eligible for vaccination and will help equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of health centers community and rural health clinics as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the injections, according to the White House.
The vaccine Pfizer tested in children is the same one used in adults, but at a lower dose – 10 micrograms instead of 30 micrograms. The vaccine should be shipped in 100-dose packages, which is much smaller than the 1,170-dose packages used for adult vaccines.

Hypothetically, providers could start giving Covid-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11 right now under the emergency use clearance from the FDA and ahead of the CDC’s recommendation to do so – which s ‘is produced when vaccines were cleared for older children – but that would still depend on which vendor vaccine orders are filled first and how quickly those vendors receive dose shipments.

“The main difference to this rollout is that pediatrician offices are probably the places to administer vaccines,” Johns wrote in her email to CNN, but added that vaccine doses allocated to pediatrician offices should still be shipped – and the timing for this remains somewhat unclear.

“The biggest challenge right now is the unknown. We have no information on when we can expect to receive shipments and supply quantities, which can make setting dates and hours harder, ”Johns said.

“We also want to be sensitive to the fact that these are children in school, so we have to make sure that there is minimal loss of instructional time. Our goal is to make the whole process convenient, easy. and accessible for families. “

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