12 things parents need to know about COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 5-11

The COVID-19 vaccine is now approved for use in children ages 5 to 11. St. Margaret Mary School students received the vaccine in early November. (Photo by Matt Martinez)

If you are a parent and have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine approved for children ages 5 to 11, you are not alone.

You told us.

So here’s some information to help.

1. Where can I have my children vaccinated?

The Milwaukee Health Department Provides Vaccines at the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Road, and Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St. Vaccines are also provided at the new Menomonee Valley site, 2401 W. St. Paul Ave.

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2. Who can I call for help?

The health department also operates a COVID-19 hotline at 414-286-6800 that can provide information and help residents schedule an appointment.

3. Where can I get the photo?

To find places to get vaccinated, go to vaccines.gov for a searchable database that allows you to filter results for specific vaccines. HealthyMKE.com also provides a list of vaccination events and clinics. Vaccines are also available at local pharmacies, such as Walgreens and CVS.

4. Are there specific programs for Milwaukee children?

There are special efforts to vaccinate children in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Health Department gives clinics at Milwaukee Public Schools and Seton Catholic Schools until Dec. 14.

5. Where can I get quick information and tips about vaccines?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have: fact sheets available about the vaccine and tips for parents, including how to make the vaccine process easier for young children.

The Mayo Clinic also offers a comprehensive list of questions and answers about COVID-19 vaccinations for children.

6. How does it work?

The Pfizer vaccine is a Messenger RNA vaccine, or mRNA vaccine, that instructs immune cells how to make proteins that fight the virus.

The vaccine does not contain live coronavirus.

7. How was the vaccine tested for this age group?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the Pfizer vaccine was tested on more than 4,600 children ages 5 to 11 before being approved for emergency use.

In the study, 3,100 received the vaccine and 1,538 received a placebo.

Children were monitored for two months after receiving their second dose of the vaccine. According to the CDC, long-term side effects will occur within six weeks of receiving a vaccine.

Results indicate that the vaccine is approximately 91% effective for this age group.

8. Do children get the same dose in their vaccine as adults?

New. The Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 uses a lower dose than the adult vaccine, a difference of 10 micrograms, respectively, compared to 30 micrograms.

9. What are the side effects?

Commonly reported side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include a sore arm at the injection site and flu-like symptoms.

The list included arm sore, redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, fever, nausea and swollen lymph nodes, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In rare cases, cases of myocarditis, or swelling of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, an inflammation of the outer layer of the heart, have been reported following COVID-19 vaccinations in men aged 12 to 17 years.

According to the CDC, the risk of getting myocarditis or pericarditis from a COVID-19 infection is higher than with a COVID-19 vaccination.

10. Are there other vaccines available besides Pfizer for children?

Not yet. The FDA is expected to review Moderna’s proposal for adolescent vaccines in the coming months. According to a recent press release from Moderna, the review may not be completed until January.

11. Should we get boosters every year?

It’s too early to say. Research shows that the vaccines are effective at least in the first months after vaccination.

12. Can you get the COVID vaccine and the flu shot at the same time?

Yes, according to recent guidelines from the CDC. For more information, view our NNS report here.

If you have more questions, please email [email protected] or text us on News414: MKE info on request. Texting ‘MKE’ to 73224 will get you the resources you need right now, in real time.

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