Q&A: University Health pediatrician explains what the COVID-19 vaccine means for 12- to 15-year-olds

Side effects for kids are about the same that adults have, she says

Q&A: What the COVID-19 vaccine means for 12-15 year olds
Q&A: What the COVID-19 vaccine means for 12-15 year olds

SAN ANTONIO – University Health System Pediatrician Dr. Mandie Svatek has answered questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and what it means for children, including how kids have responded to the vaccine so far, her own daughter’s experience in a drug trial and when even younger children may become eligible for the shot.

Days after the Food and Drug Administration expanded Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for people as young as 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the shot for 12- to 15-year-olds on Wednesday.

Svatek said kids have about the same side effects that adults have, including arm pain, fever, chills, muscle aches and fatigue.

Those ages 12-15 who received the shot during a trial had a more robust antibody response than other adults, meaning the vaccine is continuing to work well, she added.

While kids may not be as sick as adults when they do contract COVID-19, she said, virus deaths among children are possible.

“That’s what’s scary about COVID. We don’t know which child is going to be affected more so than another child,” she said.

“What we do know is that if we have the opportunity to vaccinate, we need to look at the risks and benefits as a parent and sit down and talk to your children.”

You can watch Svatek’s full video in the player above to hear her answers to the following questions:

  • Can kids get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as their other vaccinations, or should you space them out?
  • Does the COVID-19 vaccine pose any special safety concerns for children?
  • What age groups are being studied now for the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • What was it like to have your own daughter in a COVID-19 vaccine trial?
  • How have kids responded to the COVID-19 vaccine in studies?
  • If children don’t tend to get as sick, why vaccinate them?
  • Could children develop new variants of COVID-19?
  • How might getting a vaccine support a child’s mental health?
  • What is Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?
  • Have you treated any children who have been hospitalized with MIS-C?
  • What are we seeing now, and what do we know about the long-term effects of COVID-19 in children?

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