Vaccines: What You Need To Know
As we ease back into the school year, we want to recognize that August is National Immunization Month. In addition to staying up to date on your child’s regular vaccines, we encourage you to consider the COVID-19 vaccine for you child. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and pediatricians at Cedars-Sinai put together an article to answer a few common questions when considering if your toddler or preschooler should get vaccinated. Here are a few things you should know.
How old does my child need to be to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The FDA has approved for children 6 months to 4 years old to receive the vaccine. In California, you can schedule vaccines through MyTurn.ca.gov.
Is it safe for my child to get the vaccine?
It is completely safe for your child to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthy children should especially follow local protocol for receiving vaccines and wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to other, more vulnerable children. Cedars-Sinai writes, “It’s understandable that some people have reservations about the vaccine, but it’s important to remember that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available have been through rigorous safety testing and were required to meet the same standards as other vaccines—such as chickenpox and polio—that have been given to children for many years and are known to be safe and effective.”
Which vaccine is “better”?
The safest vaccine to get is whichever is available to you first. Both the Moderna and Pfizer “are safe and effective.” However, Dr. Priya Soni, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Disease at Cedars-Sinai Guerin does “urge parents to consider timing and availability as they make their decision.” Moderna requires two stronger doses while Pfizer is given at lower doses across three injections.
Will this harm my child later in life?
There are no known long-lasting side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Soni reports that “there are no long-term health effects of these vaccines other than they will protect your child from contracting and developing potentially devastating complications from this virus.” While you or your child may encounter mild symptoms from the vaccine, this is normal and not anything to be concerned about.
In the coming weeks, we will be partnering with Cedars-Sinai to host free vaccine clinics around Los Angeles county. We will be sure to share the dates and times of these clinics so that you and your family can prepare to go back to school safely. Check you email and our social media for updates and information.