COVID-19 vaccine for kids age 12 and up? YES

by |  May 11th, 2021
Breaking news on COVID-19 vaccine: FDA approves Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in kids ages 12-15!
Finally, we have FDA’s blessing to start protecting our tweens and teens against COVID-19! The study involved over 2200 participants. Study results showed that kids in this age group mounted an excellent immune response to the vaccine–in fact it was 100% effective in the study as the only kids who got sick with COVID-19 infection were the ones who were in the placebo (control) group. And, side effects were similar to the ones adults complain about–bodyaches, fever, and a sore arm.
So…let’s get rolling and protect our kids ASAP! Pediatricians fully support vaccinating our patients with the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly before they head off to summer camps and other fun activities this summer–and definitely prior to school starting up in the fall. It is the quickest and most effective way to get our patients back to leading normal lives.
Many of the large vaccination centers will be offering Pfizer to kids age 12 and up, so figure out where to go in your community to get it. Pediatricians are stepping up to offer Pfizer vaccines in their offices, but know that there are some practical logistical hurdles which makes it more challenging than other vaccines we routinely use in our practice.
Large minimum orders (1000+ doses), certified data loggers and temperature sensors (on back order since everyone needs them–remember the N95 mask crisis?!), and limited vaccine lifespan in the refrigerator and freezer are the current headaches we are personally experiencing! Bottom line: check with your pediatrician but it may take some time to onboard smaller practices like mine.
One other note: Both doses of COVID-19 vaccine must be given at least TWO WEEKS apart from other vaccines. So, if your child is due for a tetanus booster, meningitis vaccine or HPV vaccine you will need to schedule accordingly.
Bottom line: PLEASE get your 12+ kids vaccinated pronto! It is what we have all been waiting for (including your child–even the ones who hate getting shots). If you have questions or concerns about this vaccine, just ask us!

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Dr. Ari Brown is a pediatrician and a mom. Dr. Brown is Board Certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has been in private practice for over 20 years. Her passion to advocate for children and educate families extends beyond the office setting. She is the co-author the bestselling "411" parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Dr. Brown has received several professional awards including the Ralph Feigin, MD Award for Professional Excellence, the prestigious Profiles in Power Award by the Austin Business Journal for her service to the community, Austin's Favorite Pediatrician by Austin Family Magazine, and Texas Monthly Magazine's Super Doctor.

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