Vaccinations for children ages 12 and up: Another level of protection

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, talks vaccinations for children ages 12 and up with Nevada Independent


Read full Nevada Independent article here

Dr. Curry-Winchell: Recently the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for children ages 12 to 15, and, at the time of this writing, Moderna is now seeking FDA emergency authorization for this age group as well. With this in mind –– and as a family physician ­–– one of the most common questions I hear from patients is why should I get my child vaccinated?

Risk vs. benefits

There is a misconception that children are not affected by COVID-19. While children may not display overt symptoms of the virus, it is possible for them to transmit to others, and they can play a role in the asymptomatic spread of the virus, leading to an increase in the number of cases, hospitalization, and death. Additionally, children ages 12-15 may transmit the virus as readily as adults, which can lead to an increase in COVID cases.

Additionally, there have been children who have experienced complications and conditions such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), a condition with lasting effects that could inhibit children from participating in regular activities.

With the summer approaching, the vaccine would provide reassurance that children 12+ are not transmitting it to others, including other younger household members, grandparents, those with compromised immune systems, or those who are not eligible to receive the vaccine. It also provides hope they can return to participating in summer camps, visiting their loved ones, and enjoying other summer activities.   

Back to school

Getting children vaccinated now also provides protection for the school year. When they’re back in school, there is an increased risk of possible transmission as the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious. By having your child vaccinated, you are allowing them to enter the school year with a layer of protection that decreases the risk of them getting sick.

Is it safe?

The clinical trial enrolled more than 2,000 participants ages 12 to 15, with half of the participants receiving a vaccine dose and the other half a saline placebo. The participants were followed and closely monitored for at least two months to ensure their safety following the second dose. They found that the vaccine’s efficacy was consistent across teens and adults. The trials also showed that there were no known differences across age groups and that there weren’t any real adverse outcomes. As a parent and a physician, this provided me with a level of reassurance that vaccine is safe for children ages 12 and up……

Dr. Curry-Winchell continues on vaccinations for children in the full article.