Are Vaccines Safe For Children
Vaccines are safe. They must go through extensive safety testing and evaluation before they are approved in the United States.
Some people worry that childhood vaccines could cause autism spectrum disorder . But many scientific studies have looked at this and have found no link between vaccines and autism.
Are The Ingredients That Are Used To Make Vaccines Safe
Yes. Each ingredient in a vaccine is included for a reason. Before FDA determines that a vaccine is safe and effective and licenses it for use by the public in the United States, the vaccine is carefully evaluated by FDA scientists and doctors, taking into account the ingredients that make up the entire vaccine.
Is It Safer To Get Immunized Than To Get The Disease
Yes. The danger from the disease is much greater than the risk of a side effect from the vaccine. Health officials around the world take vaccine safety very seriously. That is why every parent is asked to call their health care provider if any unusual or unexpected side effects happen after getting the vaccines.
There is an extremely rare possibility, less than one in million, of a life-threatening allergic reaction after getting a vaccine. If this happens, it is most likely to occur within minutes after the vaccine is given. This is why you are asked to stay at the clinic or health care providers office for 15 minutes after your child has been immunized. Your health care provider is prepared to treat this reaction.
Also Check: Does Cvs Offer Tetanus Shots
Tetanus: Vaccination Is The Best Protection
- Tetanus is a serious disease caused by germs found in the soil. There is no community protection against tetanus. It does not spread from child to child. If your child is not vaccinated against tetanus, they are at risk.
- Even a minor cut or wound that has a tiny bit of soil in it can cause an infection. Over 10% of children and adults who get tetanus will die, even with the best intensive care.
- Over half of those who get tetanus have no history of a major cut or injury, so if your child becomes sick, make sure the doctor knows right away that they are not vaccinated. If your child has not received at least 3 doses of tetanus vaccine and has a major cut or injury, they should be given a special blood product called tetanus immune globulin as soon as possible to prevent tetanus.
Can Getting So Many Vaccines Overwhelm My Child’s Immune System
Not only won’t the vaccines overwhelm your baby’s immune system, but they’ll actually help strengthen it.
The schedule of recommended shots may seem daunting and might even have you wondering how your little one’s immune system will be able to handle it all but actually, research shows that there’s no need to worry.
Healthy babies safely respond to numerous challenges to their immune system every day, from germs on the floor to bacteria in foods, from dust in the living room air to cold viruses floating around the supermarket. Vaccines, say experts, are an insignificant drop in the immune system bucket compared to what babies successfully tackle on a daily basis.
You May Like: Does Cvs Pharmacy Give Tdap Vaccine
Children In Licensed Daycare Centres
If you want your child to attend daycare, and decide not to vaccinate them due to medical, religious or philosophical reasons, you will need to give your daycare a valid written exemption. If the disease appears in your childs daycare centre, your child may have to stay out of daycare until the disease is no longer present.
Why Vaccines Are Important
Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves and our children against ill health. They prevent up to 3 million deaths worldwide every year.
Since vaccines were introduced in the UK, diseases like smallpox, polio and tetanus that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely.
Other diseases like measles and diphtheria have been reduced by up to 99.9% since their vaccines were introduced.
However, if people stop having vaccines, it’s possible for infectious diseases to quickly spread again.
The World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health.
Vaccine hesitancy is where people with access to vaccines delay or refuse vaccination.
You May Like: Tdap Cvs
How Many Doses Does The Covid
The authorized vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna require two shots: an initial dose followed three or four weeks later by a second shot. The vaccine by Johnson & Johnson requires just one shot. For all of these vaccines, it takes up to two weeks after the final dose for the bodys immune system to respond fully. See below for how the vaccines may work against newer variants.
> Related: Ask a Pediatrician: How Can I Tell if My Child Has the Flu or COVID-19?
Are There Any Common Side Effects Of The Covid
Some people have mild to moderate side effects after the second dose, like soreness in their arm, chills, low-grade fever, fatigue or headache in the next 24 hours. These side effects are a normal part of the bodys immune system response, and commonly occur with many vaccines like the regular flu shot.
Read Also: Cvs Whooping Cough Vaccine
Forcing Me To Vaccinate Is A Violation Of My Rights
The Truth: Every state’s vaccination laws are different requirements for immunizations kick in when it’s time to attend day care, preschool, or public school. These policies exist for good reason: They protect the small percentage of children who may have a compromised immune system or for whom vaccines may not work. And many of these diseases are highly contagious, meaning they’ll spread quickly in schools, says Dr. Daley. He mentions measles and influenza as examples.
Every state allows exemptions if children have a medical reason for not vaccinating, such leukemia or a rare immune disorder. What’s more, all states allow religious and/or personal-belief exemptions with varying requirements, except for California, Maine, Mississippi, New York, and West Virginia. Meanwhile, the exemption ratesand the disease ratesare higher in those states where it’s easier for children to be granted an exemption.
What About The Safety Of Covid
The FDA and other reviewers closely consider diverse populations and include them in the trials. The clinical trials for the first two COVID-19 vaccines included members of underrepresented minorities and older age groups, and people with conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart and respiratory conditions.
Read Also: Tdap Vaccine At Cvs
It Protects Against Severe Illness
While you can still get COVIDthat’s always a possibilitywhat the vaccine does is it reduces the severity of disease and more than likely you will not be hospitalized, said Dr. Seija.
While kids have a lower likelihood of getting COVID and severe COVID, they also tolerate the shot very well, said Dr. Loethen. Even though kids dont as often get COVID-19 or even severe COVID-19, its really hard to tell a parent whose child unfortunately got that infection and has aftereffects that kids dont need to be vaccinated.
I guarantee that every single one of those parents who now have to deal with the aftereffects of a child with COVID-19 wouldve jumped on the vaccine in a heartbeat, she added. I just hate for anyone to have to be that parent, so prevention is the key here.
There are still cases of what we call long COVID, where even after recovering from the acute illness or the most immediate illness of COVID, we still have people who have ongoing headaches, fatigue and difficulty breathing that are really debilitating and keeping kids from school, keeping people from work, Dr. Loethen explained.
Why Isnt A Covid
Childrens immune systems are very different from adults, and their immune responses can be different at different ages, from infancy through the teenage years. So the research thats been done on the COVID-19 vaccine for older ages needs to be repeated in children of younger ages.
This process can take awhile, especially for very young ages, which are usually tested last.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does A Tdap Shot Cost At Cvs
Are There Any Dangers Of Vaccinations
Of course, all vaccinations come with some risks, but our brain has a hard time putting risk in perspective, says Neal Halsey, M.D., a pediatrician and director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Its similar to how many people fear flying more than driving but driving is far more dangerous.
Vaccines sometimes cause mild, short-term side effects like redness and swelling at the injection site, fever, and rash. But the most serious risks, such as severe allergic reactions, are far rarer than the diseases that vaccines protect against. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that serious allergic reactions from any vaccine occurs in one in 1 million doses.
The benefits of vaccinesnamely the fact that they protect against dangerous and deadly diseaseslikely outweigh the slight risks they pose.
Mild Side Effects Are Expected
Like any medicine, vaccines can cause side effects such as a low-grade fever, or pain and redness at injection site. Mild reactions go away within a few days on their own.
Severe, long lasting side effects are extremely rare.
If you have questions or concerns about a vaccine, talk with your childs doctor. Learn about the safety of each recommended vaccine.
Read Also: Cost Of Shingles Vaccine At Cvs
How Long Have These Vaccines Been In Trials Have There Been Any Long
Dr. Siddiqui: Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine trials began as early as June 2020. The Pfizer trial included approximately 4,600 children and showed a 91% effectiveness against contracting COVID-19. In the pediatric trial for ages 5-11 years old, side effects included arm pain and redness at the vaccination site, and fever. Long-term effects for all vaccines currently approved usually occur in the first six to nine months of the administration. The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine was done over a period of 18 months.
Fact Or Fiction: Vaccines Are Dangerous
Overwhelming medical evidence shows that negative side effects are rare and minor
The world greets newborn babies by bombarding them with everything from dust to disease-causing microbes. Babies can deftly parry exposures to certain harmful substances, thanks to antibodies passed onto them in the womb. But this kind of inherited immunity is short-lived, so a child must develop her own immune system response to combat life-threatening diseases. That’s where vaccines come into the picture. By age two, most children will receive almost 30 shots designed to boost a child’s natural defenses against disease. Yet at the same time, parents who take their children for those recommended vaccinations might be inundated with Web site and celebrity-espoused rumors making false claims that shots are not necessary or cause autism.
At best, navigating this landscape can be confusing. But when weighing the risks of encountering life-threatening disease against the benefits of receiving a vaccine there’s no contest. The vast majority of children do not experience anything worse than short-lived redness or itching at the spot of the injection. So why is there so much misinformation?
Read Also: Cvs Tdap Shot
Side Effects Of Vaccination
Most of the side effects of vaccination are mild and do not last long.
The most common side effects of vaccination include:
- the area where the needle goes in looking red, swollen and feeling a bit sore for 2 to 3 days
- babies or young children feeling a bit unwell or developing a high temperature for 1 or 2 days
Some children might also cry and be upset immediately after the injection. This is normal and they should feel better after a cuddle.
We Do Not Use Mercury In Vaccines Anymore
Thiomersal which contains mercury was used as a preservative in some vaccines in very small amounts. Thiomersal was removed from all vaccines on Australias National Immunisation Program in 2000.
There is no scientific evidence the small amounts of the thiomersal used in vaccines caused any harmful effects in children or adults.
Recommended Reading: Does Cvs Give Tetanus Shots
Can I Let My Child Get The Chickenpox Instead Of Getting The Vaccine
Although chickenpox is a mild disease that many parents will remember from childhood , some children will develop serious cases with complications that can be fatal or cause permanent disabilities. The vaccine eliminates the risk of complications from the disease, and prevents children from infecting their siblings, friends and classmates.
How To Protect Your Kids
That said, your priority as a parent is, understandably, protecting your child from harm in any way that you can. When it comes to your baby’s shots, one of the best ways to protect your child is to learn all you can about vaccines from reliable sources and your pediatrician tops that list.
Before having your little one vaccinated, do your homework so you can feel good about the informed decision you’re making and talk to the doctor about the potential risks of or side effects from that particular vaccine.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Read Also: Can You Get Tdap At Cvs
Where Can I Learn More About The Covid
Check out our COVID-19 Vaccine Updates, including details about vaccine clinics and lots of resources for your family. Remember that all kids ages 5 and up can now get the vaccine. If that includes your child, please schedule their vaccine today. Its the best way to keep them safe from COVID-19.
If you have questions about coronavirus and your child, call Connecticut Childrens 24-Hour Pediatric COVID-19 Hotline at 833.226.2362.
And dont delay your childs care! Connecticut Childrens offers Video Visits in more than 30 specialties, and works around the clock to keep your child safe and sound at every in-person appointment.
Different Types Of Vaccines For Children
The following are the most common immunizations for children in the U.S. and the diseases they prevent:
- Hepatitis B vaccine:Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can affect the liver, sometimes resulting in liver failure or cancer of the liver. The HepB vaccine is given in three doses, with the first just after birth.
- Rotavirus vaccine: Babies can get two-dose series at 2 and 4 months, or a three-dose series at 2, 4, and 6 months to protect against rotavirus infection, which can cause severe diarrhea, dehydration, and fever.
- DTap and Tdap vaccines:The DTap vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis . The Tdap vaccine is a recommended booster shot against the same infections.
- Haemophilus influenza conjugate vaccine:The Hib vaccine prevents Hib infection. Hib infection can cause several serious complications, including meningitis and pneumonia.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Tdap
What You Need To Know About Covid
Explore top articles, videos, research highlights and more from the AMAyour source for clear, evidence-based news and guidance during the pandemic.
To help parents move from that wait-and-see mentality and calm their fears, two physicians shared what to know about COVID-19 vaccine safety for children.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization for children and teens 515 years old. For those 16 or older, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is fully approved. The vaccine for children 511 years old is distributed in smaller dosing and with smaller needles to make it easier for physicians and others to administer. It is one-third the adolescent and adult dose and is given in two doses, 21 days apart. Vaccination was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children 511 years old.
The AMAs What Doctors Wish Patients Knew series provides physicians with a platform to share what they want patients to understand about todays health care headlines, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this installment, two AMA members took time to share what parents should know about COVID-19 vaccine safety for kids. They are:
There Is No Established Link Between Vaccines And Autism
High quality studies over many years have compared the health of large numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Medical information from nearly 1.5 million children living around the world was able to confirm that vaccination does not cause autism.
The concern around autism and immunisation came from a paper published in The Lancet in 1998, claiming a link between the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine and autism. The paper has since been completely discredited and was withdrawn from the Lancet in 2010. The journal printed an apology after withdrawing the paper.
Read Also: Tdap Shot At Cvs
Will Vaccinating Kids Help With Herd Immunity
Herd immunity means once a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated that it helps the whole community avoid the illness. Different percentages of the population require vaccination to reach herd immunity, depending on the individual pathogen and how easily it is transmitted.
For COVID-19, Dr. Ahmed explains that the medical community is aiming for at least 65% to 75% or more of the population to have antibodies against the disease to hopefully achieve herd immunity. Antibodies to the disease can come through vaccination or natural immunity.
Of course, as scientific understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, this estimated percentage may also change. In many cases, we can vaccinate children and healthy adults to protect older people and other vulnerable communities via herd immunity.
For COVID-19, by vaccinating healthy adults and older populations, we may potentially achieve herd immunity while we await vaccine approval for babies and young children. However, vaccine hesitancy in some groups is significantly slowing down this effortand putting us all at greater risk. So, we’ll be protecting our children and other vulnerable populations by vaccinating adults and children 5 and up.