What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines for Children
The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine COMIRNATY® has received Health Canada’s approval for children ages five to 11. (Acuitas provides the lipid nanoparticle delivery system for this mRNA vaccine.)
In a CBC article, which is in a useful Q&A format, a spokesperson for Pfizer Canada said: “the vials for the pediatric version will each contain 10 doses and have a ‘unique label,’ and the cap will be a different colour – so health-care workers will be able to tell the difference between the adult and child versions.”
In this article, one of the questions is around the benefits of vaccinating younger children. While children appear to be less likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19, this article does say that some do suffer serious illness and that children can transmit the virus to people who are more vulnerable. In addition, as more is learned about the long-term effects of the virus (some people will suffer with debilitating symptoms for months or potentially years), there are concerns about children having to deal with this. Nature.com has an interesting piece on this that they published in July 2021.
A question that is always asked is around the safety of the vaccine for young children. As with all vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines for children have undergone extensive clinical trials and that data undergoes a comprehensive review by health authorities. You can learn more about vaccine safety here, and specifically about vaccines for children here.
In addition, Johns Hopkins Medicine has a good resource page on the COVID-19 vaccine and what parents need to know here.
There are many reasons to vaccinate your child against COVID-19 and other preventable diseases. Immunize.org has created a compelling list of reasons here. It’s worth a read.
If you know someone who is hesitant to have their child vaccinated, please share this blog post with them.