Children rarely get ill from COVID-19. Why should they be vaccinated?
- To avoid getting Covid: Having Covid, isolations time, quarantine time all interfere with education and social time for children and work time for parents.
- To avoid getting MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children): While most children do not get sick enough with Covid to be hospitalized, MIS-C is a severe complication that occurs in about 1 in 1000 children who have had Covid, even mild illness.
- To avoid “long haul” Covid: More research is being done into why and in whom “long haul” Covid appears. “Long haulers” have continuing symptoms long after the original infection has cleared.
- To avoid transmission: Children who get mild illness could pass the infection along to peers or adults at higher risk.
- To help protect everyone’s freedom to stay healthy and enjoy a “normal” life: The vaccine is not perfect protection against infection. But, the more people in any group (family, classroom, town, state, etc.) who are vaccinated, the better the group’s protection.
But what about Myocarditis?
- It is still better to get the vaccine.
- COVID-19 illness can cause severe myocarditis. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, makes the heart work harder to pump blood, and can cause permanent scarring & weakening of the heart. It can happen from any virus to any person, but it is 37 times more likely in children with Covid and 7 times more likely in older teens and young adults with Covid.
- Patients are still much less likely to get myocarditis from the vaccine than from Covid itself. The rate of vaccine-associated myocarditis is about only 0.0004%. The myocarditis cases after Covid vaccine, mostly in young men and male adolescents, has been very mild and treatable. All patients studied have had a normal heart afterwards.
Which vaccine has been approved?
- Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine has emergency use authorization for children ages 5 to 15 years old. The vaccine has been named Comirnaty. Children 5-11 years old will receive a dose 2/3 that of 12 and over.
(100% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 12 through 15. The vaccine is 91% effective in preventing severe illness with COVID-19 in people age 16 and older. Early research also suggests that the vaccine is 96% effective at preventing severe disease with COVID-19 caused by the delta variant.)
- Will it help against omicron variant? So far, we just don’t know. But as of now, omicron variant is only just being detected in this country.
COVIDVaccineAnswers.org by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The Science Behind COVID-19 Vaccines by Healthy Children, American Academy of Pediatrics
Dr. Paul Offit of CHOP, infectious disease and vaccine expert, discusses COVID-19 illness and vaccination for teens and young adults. Video
COVID-19 and Myocarditis (excerpted from the American Academy of Pediatrics):
Across all ages, the risk of myocarditis was almost 16 times higher for people with COVID-19 compared to those who aren’t infected. The myocarditis risk is 37 times higher for infected children under 16 years and seven times higher for infected people ages 16-39 compared to their uninfected peers. Males ages 12-29 years — the group with the highest rates of myocarditis after vaccination — 39 to 47 cases of myocarditis for every million second doses of vaccine. [Ed. ~0.004%] Benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.
Read the full article: COVID-19 Vaccination & Myocarditis Risk in Children