COVID-19 Vaccine and Children
Clinical trials are taking place now to help us learn more about how the vaccines work for children of different ages. The Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for children age 16 years and up, and has been shown to be safe for that age group.
Yes, we are working with state government officials to understand when they will be able to provide vaccine to us for our patients. Because the supply will continue to be limited, vaccines will be made available to prioritized groups first. Adolescents age 16 years and older who have health conditions that put them at higher risk will be able to receive vaccine in one of the first groups. We ask our families to work with us so together we can protect children at highest risk first. Children who are not part of a prioritized group may be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination faster by going through their local health department.
Nemours is working with the state of Delaware to support their efforts to vaccinate health care workers and Delaware residents ages 65+. Our community clinics are by invitation only and appointment only. We do not have an open registration system, but rather are partnering directly with community-based organizations providing services to these two specific populations. For seniors, we are particularly focused on targeting the most vulnerable among those 65+ by working with groups like Nemours SeniorCare and the Ministry of Caring. Those organization then coordinate the registrations on behalf of their clients.
If you have a question about an appointment that is already scheduled, please email us at CommunityCOVIDVaccinations@nemours.org. Please allow up to two business days for a response. For more information on how to schedule a vaccine appointment through the state of Delaware, please visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/vaccine
At this time we are vaccinating only children age 16 and up. Once the vaccines have been authorized for younger children we will be able to vaccinate them as well.
Available evidence suggests the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for most pregnant and breastfeeding women, but studies are ongoing. Please consult with your personal physician to determine if the vaccine is safe for you.
Both vaccines are a new type of vaccine, known as messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines. Unlike traditional vaccines that contain either weakened viruses or purified signature proteins of the virus, an mRNA vaccine contains a snippet of genetic code that directs your cells to make harmless copies of the viral protein in your body. These proteins then act like a wanted poster, warning your immune system, ”Hey, if you see something that looks just like this, it’s a big threat, so shut it down.“ Your immune system responds by producing antibodies that can neutralize the real virus if you are ever infected.
The vaccine is given by injecting it into a muscle, usually in an arm or thigh.
For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, two doses are required. For the Pfizer vaccine, dose 2 should be given 21 days after dose 1, for the Moderna vaccine, dose 2 should be given 28 days after dose 1.
Most people report no or mild side effects from dose 1 and more noticeable side effects after dose 2. Of those who experienced side effects, the most common include fatigue, headache, soreness at the site of injection or muscle/joint aches. Less than 2% of participants experienced a fever. Most people who experienced side effects said they went away after 48 hours.
No. Having uncontrolled, widespread community spread of COVID-19 would put your family and your entire community at serious risk. The health care system would be overwhelmed to the point that it could not take care of people with COVID-19 or those with any other health needs. Importantly, the risk of getting COVID-19 far outweighs any risk of the vaccine. Unfortunately, “natural immunity” does not last long… there are many cases of people who have already had COVID-19 twice. The best way to stop the pandemic is to follow safety guidelines and get the vaccine when it is your turn.
Yes, the vaccine is recommended for people who have had COVID-19 because natural immunity does not last long and your child can get COVID-19 again, putting themselves and others at risk.
Yes, you will still need to wear a mask, social distance and follow safety precautions. There are a few reasons for this:
- The vaccine takes time to provide protection.
- The vaccine has not been shown to be 100 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19.
- While the results from the clinical trials show the vaccine to be effective at reducing symptomatic COVID-19 disease, we do not know if the vaccine prevents asymptomatic infection and transmission of SARS CoV-2 virus.
- Early results from clinical trials suggest the immunity a person gets from the COVID-19 vaccine lasts longer than the immunity they would have after being ill with COVID-19, but we still do not know how long the protection will last.
Learn More About the COVID-19 Vaccine
In January, Nemours experts held a webinar about the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch the Webinar