The FDA and CDC have finally announced that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children ages 5-11 and recommend families get their kids vaccinated. There are still a lot of concerns from citizens on the effects of the vaccine, but experts assure parents that the risks of getting COVID-19 far outweigh any risks the vaccines might pose. So the big question is, now that it’s approved, Alabama parents—will you be getting your children vaccinated?
What the CDC says
The CDC now recommends that children aged 5-11 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Children will receive one-third of the dose given to adolescents and adults, and it will be administrated with a much smaller needle. Although children this age are at a lower risk of severe illness from the virus, the CDC still recommends vaccination for kids for the following reasons:
- Potential infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
- Severe sickness from COVID-19
- Short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
- Potential spread of COVID-19 to others
The CDC also states that children may receive other vaccines such as the flu shot alongside the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Bama Buzz Audience Thoughts
We took a poll of our Bama Buzz Instagram audience to hear how you feel about vaccinating your kids.
Here are the results from respondents:
- Will Vaccinate: 37%
- Will Not: 63%
From the results, we can see that in a small subject group of Alabama families many parents are leaning towards not vaccinating their children. Whether this will change as more research is released about the vaccine is anyone’s guess.
CDC reassures safety of vaccine
The CDC and FDA have stated that negative side effects on children from the COVID-19 vaccine are rare. According to the Mayo Clinic, for kids ages 5 through 11, the FDA reviewed a vaccine study of more than 4,600 children in this age range. Of this group, about 3,100 were given the Pfizer vaccine. The other children were given a placebo shot. Children who were given the vaccine were monitored for side effects for at least two months after the second dose. Side effects were generally mild to moderate.
You can learn more about the FDA’s process of developing, authorizing, and approving COVID-19 vaccines by visiting the CDC’s website.
UAB Dr. David Kimberlin on getting kids vaccinated
Dr. David Kimberlin is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UAB as well as the Co-Director for the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Even as COVID-19 cases are somewhat on the decline in Alabama, Dr. Kimberlin urges parents to get their children vaccinated now.
“The virus will come back, and the time to protect yourslef and protect your child is now, it’s not when the tsunami is already crashing on the beach.”Dr. David Kimberlin. UAB Professor, Birmingham
Dr. Kimberlin also encourages parents who are hesitant about the vaccine to sit down with their pediatrician or family practice doctor to discuss any concerns they have.
“Rely on the health care providers that you trust becasue they know the science, medicine and disease, and they will be a resource for you as you make this decision for your children.”Dr. David Kimberlin. UAB Professor, Birmingham
Where to get your vaccine
The federal government is providing the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status.
You can make an appointment online at your local pharmacy to receive the vaccine, or check with your child’s physician to see if they offer the COVID-19 vaccination. You can also check out the Alabama Public Health website to locate places offering the vaccine near you.
Will you be getting your child vaccinated? Let us know by tagging us @thebamabuzz.