When it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, there is lots of information floating around. It seems to change daily, making it difficult for parents to make a truly informed decision about what is right for their families. 

It is no surprise that parents are anxious to protect their children from COVID and return to a less fearful existence. 

In San Francisco, pediatrician Dr. Lisa Dana says parents are already asking for the vaccines.

And San Franciscan mother of four, Ashley Syme, says, “I’m comfortable having them go to school, but definitely would be interested in getting them vaccinated as soon as it’s available.”

But how the vaccine rollout will look is still a matter of debate.

Some doctors suggest that teachers should get the vaccine first as they have a fully functioning immune system. However, children are more likely to spread germs.

Knowing which COVID-19 vaccines will be available to children and when is hard to say. Because information about vaccines is changing rapidly, it is important to consult official sources for the most up-to-date information. 

To help you prepare, here’s what we know about each vaccine so far:

COVID Vaccines: What We Know So Far

Moderna

In North America, the most common COVID-19 vaccines are Moderna and Pfizer. Moderna, manufactured by ModernaTX, Inc, requires two vaccination shots administered 28 days apart. Moderna has shown to be 94.1% effective. 

The vaccine has shown consistent results across a diverse group of people varying in age, sex, race, and underlying health conditions. 
Side effects may include: headaches, fatigue, fever, chills, and nausea. These side effects are more noticeable following the second shot. Most side effects have been mild to moderate. Although a few of the test subjects were admitted to the hospital, most of them had been given the saline placebo.

Pfizer-BioNTech

The Pfizer vaccine, from Pfizer Inc., and BioNTech, requires two shots administered 21 days apart. Pfizer is 95% effective. The vaccine is recommended for people 16 years of age and older. 

Side effects include; headaches, fatigue, fever, chills, and nausea.

Kids and COVID Vaccines: What Parents Need To Know

To date, COVID vaccines have been administered to the adult population only, but here’s a quick look at what is happening regarding administering to children.

Moderna Vaccine Trials for Children in Arizona

Though Whitehouse representatives have stated that the vaccines wouldn’t be made available to elementary school students until 2022, Moderna is conducting an international vaccine trial for children. 

Part of this study takes place in Arizona. Parents signed up their children to participate in the study, which began on March 13, 2020. This trial study is open to children from age six months to 12 years. 

The principal investigator has declared that no child will be getting a placebo vaccine, as is the case in most drug trials. Following both injections, parents are instructed to closely monitor their child’s symptoms and undergo regular checkups with their family doctor.  

If you are interested in signing your child up for this study or have any questions about the study, don’t hesitate to call 602-368-1928.

AstraZeneca UK Trial

In the United Kingdom, children ages six to 12 are enrolled in a small AstraZeneca vaccine trial conducted by Oxford University. However, the trial has been paused to assess the side effects of their earlier trial on adults. 
Recent findings show potential links to blood clots. Doctors and scientists are doing all they can to guarantee the safety of the test subjects. Doctors assure parents that there are no safety concerns. This trial will resume once they have assessed the data.

Vaccine Hesitancy and Concerns

Doctors are reassuring people that the vaccines are safe. There is a reason why these vaccine trials have gone through numerous stages before the vaccines are made available to the general public. 

Dr. George Rutherford from UCSF assures parents the vaccine will be safe, saying that “Parents have concerns about getting kids vaccinated against everything, this is more heavily studied, it uses new technology which is safer.”

“I do not think they’ll be released until they are safe, I trust they’ll be safe when they’re available,” says pediatrician Dr. Lisa Dana.

ABC 7 News interviewed American parents, asking them if they were going to get their children vaccinated. To their surprise, they received a mixed response.

Parent Maria Gil from Brentwood says, “To me, I believe they came up with this method of a vaccine too soon, I’m just not a believer.” 

While the rapid development and deployment of COVID vaccines have created some valid concerns, parents should rest assured that clinical trials and data analysis is taking place across the globe. 

Vaccines will not be administered to children until it is deemed completely safe to do so. And to date, Moderna’s 94.1% success rate and Pzifer’s 95% success rate, with minimal side effects, indicate a promising path ahead.  

(Nothing in this article should be assumed to be official medical advice.)