Since the beginning of vaccination against COVID-19, mild side effects have been reported after the application of the doses. The underage population (between 5 and 11 years old) has not been the exception.
Although it has been shown that COVID-19, the disease that causes the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, affects children in a milder way, vaccination is necessary to reduce any type of risk.
To date, the only licensed vaccine for this age group is that of Pfizer-BioNTech, which must be inoculated at two times and three weeks apart. The immunizer for minors differs from that applied to adolescents and adults because it contains a lower dose (10 micrograms, that is, one third of the common dose).
The vaccine is the most effective method to prevent serious illness, but it does not prevent one from being infected, especially with the omicron variant that spreads more quickly.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which collects notifications from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), most of the reported symptoms (over 92%) are mild to moderate. This occurs regardless of gender and ethnicity.
The most common effects are of two types. On the one hand local reactions (redness, pain, or swelling in the arm where the shot was received) that lasts for a day or two. On the other hand, they can be presented systemic reactions (fever, tiredness, headache, chills, vomiting, diarrhea) that usually last up to a week.
The most serious effects (but minimal in number), have been cases of myocarditis, chest pain and elevation of C-reactive protein (indicating suspicion of infection or inflammation), according to a final January 2022 update from the CDC signed by Dr. John Su.
It should be noted that in this latest report there were only three deaths of minors: two due to a “complicated medical situation” and one due to the flu.
In addition, Dr. Su’s team found that inoculating an adult dose by mistake in a minor did not cause any serious side effects.
Mayo Clinic, a specialized health portal, specified that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is not recommended for children under 5 years of age or for those who have an allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine.
Since Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was licensed for this age range in the United States, nearly 4.3 million children have received their full dose.