COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations

COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations

QVHD is committed to keeping our community safe and well. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is just one of the mitigation strategies eligible populations can adopt to protect against severe outcomes. While research has shown the vaccine is effective at protecting people from COVID-19, we recognize that there are a lot of outstanding questions and concerns. QVHD highly recommends you consult your primary care provider for additional guidance on what actions may be right for you.

The CDC has outlined some of these considerations to help you understand both the risks and benefits of obtaining a COVID-19 vaccine for you or your loved ones. Some of the questions you can raise when consulting with your doctor are included below from the CDC.

(Source: CDC, 2021

What You Need to Know (Updated 11.18.2021)

Effectiveness

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting people from COVID-19 and help keep adults and children from getting seriously sick. COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Getting everyone ages 5 years and older vaccinated can help the entire family, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who may be at risk of getting very sick if they are infected.

Adults and children 5 years and older who are fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did before the pandemic. Learn more about what people can do when they have been fully vaccinated. 

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective, especially at keeping adults and children from getting seriously ill even if they do get COVID-19. Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. It typically takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19.

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. To receive the most protection, people should receive all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more about who is recommended to get an additional primary dose or a booster dose.

People can sometimes get COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated. However, this only happens in a small proportion of people, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.

Learn more about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Safety

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away within a few days.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, which includes studies about adolescents and children. This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systemspdf icon to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe.

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5 years through 15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older. Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing and approving COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems. Read more to bust myths and learn the facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

CDC has developed a tool, v-safe, to help monitor how people are feeling after getting COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe is a free, easy-to-use, and confidential smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after vaccination. Parents and caregivers can enroll themselves and their children ages 5 years and older in v-safe and report how they are feeling after they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Learn how the federal government is using v-safe and other systems to monitor and ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

While COVID-19 vaccines were developed rapidly, all steps have been taken to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal

After COVID-19 vaccination, adults and children may have some side effects.  These are normal signs that the body is building protection. The side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, such as tiredness, headache, or chills, may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away within a few days. Some people have no side effects. Severe allergic reactions (like anaphylaxis) and complications (like myocarditis and pericarditis) are rare. Learn more about what to expect after getting vaccinated.

Why Children and Teens Should Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

While COVID-19 tends to be milder in children compared with adults, it can make children very sick and cause children to be hospitalized. In some situations, the complications from infection can lead to death.

Although children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19 compared with adults, children can

  • Be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • Get very sick from COVID-19
  • Have both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19
  • Spread COVID-19 to others

Children with underlying medical conditions are more at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with children without underlying medical conditions. Children who get infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 can also develop serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C)—a condition where different body parts become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

Help Protect Your Child, Your Family, and Others

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect children ages 5 years and older from getting COVID-19.

  • Vaccinating children can help protect family members, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who may be at increased risk of getting very sick if they are infected.
  • Vaccination can also help keep children from getting seriously sick even if they do get COVID-19.
  • Vaccinating children ages 5 years and older can help keep them in school and help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.

Help protect your whole family and slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community by getting yourself and your children ages 5 years and older vaccinated against COVID-19.

Protect Unvaccinated Children
Unvaccinated children ages 2 years and older should wear a mask in public spaces and around people they don’t live with. Learn more about protecting unvaccinated family members.

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe for Children and Teens

Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. The FDA gave the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization to use in children ages 5-15 years old and full approval to use in people ages 16 years and older. Learn more about the process of developing, authorizing, and approving COVID-19 vaccines.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Get a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 years and older as soon as you can.

COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored for safety with the most comprehensive and intense safety monitoring program in U.S. history. CDC monitors the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines after the vaccines are authorized or approved for use, including the risk of myocarditis in children ages 5 through 11 years.

  • Your child may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including flu vaccine, at the same time.
  • Serious health events after COVID-19 vaccination are rare.
  • Cases of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) have been reported after Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination of children ages 12–17 years.  These reactions are rare; in one study, the risk of myocarditis after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech in the week following vaccination was around 54 cases per million doses administered to males ages 12–17 years.
  • severe allergic reaction, like anaphylaxis, may happen after any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, but this is rare.
  • Your child cannot get COVID-19 from any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Learn more about how mRNA vaccines, like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, work.
  • There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems.

After Your Child’s COVID-19 Vaccination

Possible side effects

Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection.

On the arm where your child got the shot: 

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of their body: 

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea

These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects and severe allergic reactions are rare. If your child experiences a severe allergic reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine providers can rapidly provide care and call for emergency medical services, if needed.

Ask your child’s healthcare provider for advice on using a non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home after your child gets vaccinated. In general, aspirin is not recommended for use in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age. Placing a cool, damp cloth on the injection site can help with discomfort.

Announcement Date: 
Tuesday, November 16, 2021