MedWatch Today: COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for Children Ages 12-16

Med Watch Today

Children ages 12 and older are now able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We spoke with pediatrician Dr. Christian Faulkenberry-Miranda about why it’s so important this age group get the shot to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been available to adults since December of 2020. Now, children who are 12 years and older can get it too. Dr. Faulkenberry-Miranda is the Associate Residency Program Director for the Department of Pediatrics at UCSF Fresno. She explains why it’s important children get the shot.

“Adolescents make up the largest population of people that are testing positive for COVID. So although they’re less likely to die and end up in the hospital than the other groups, especially the older population or the young children, they actually make up the largest percentage of those infections… They are a lot of the reason why we have a community spread,” said Dr. Faulkenberry-Miranda.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said your child may have some side effects after the shot, which are normal signs that their body is building protection.

Dr. Faulkenberry-Miranda continued, “The symptoms are the same as what the adults are experiencing. Definitely they’re getting some injection site pain in their arm where the shot goes in, and then a couple days after the second shot, generally some people are getting fever, joint pain, some muscle pain, tiredness.”

The local pediatrician said the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

“I understand, you know, that we’re all trying to take care of our kids and protect them. I can assure the population that my children are vaccinated… We’re pretty assured that this vaccine is gonna be safe for our adolescents, and really necessary for control and everyone getting back to a normal life,” Dr. Faulkenberry-Miranda advised, “Always call your doctor anytime parents are concerned, we’re happy to talk with them about the side effects and let the know whether the side effects are normal or not.”

The doctor said long term effects from COVID are still affecting some her young patients, which is why the vaccine is especially crucial.

She added, “It’s being referred to as “long haul COVID”, so some of the patients actually are still showing symptoms nine months after they had COVID and they weren’t really that sick to start with, just had minor cold symptoms, but we’re still seeing effects from that – unexplained fevers, joint pains, different effects on their heart.”

For more information on where you or your child can get the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.

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