The Most Common Side Effects Of The Pfizer Vaccine For Kids

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The Pfizer drug called Paxlovid achieved an 89 percent reduction in risk of hospitalization or death
The Pfizer drug called Paxlovid achieved an 89 percent reduction in risk of hospitalization or death

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the FDA on Oct. 29 for children in the 5-11 age group, almost a year after it was made available for adults. As parents begin to bring their children into clinics and pharmacies to get their shots, the most expected side effects have been revealed, according to data presented to the CDC and Pfizer.

The side effects found most commonly included injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and chills. 

Because children get one-third of the typical dose administered to adults, the side effects they experience are generally less. Furthermore, side effects remain almost identical throughout every age group. No significant safety concerns were found, either. 

Pain and swelling at the injection site was by far the most frequent side effect, with around 70% of children experiencing it after both doses. Fatigue was the second most frequent side effect, with 34% of children reporting it after the first dose, and nearly 40% after the second dose.  

In general, more side effects were reported after the second dose than the first one, as the second dose reinforces an immune response already present.  Vomiting and diarrhea, however, had similar rates of prevalence after both doses. Around 2% and 6% of kids reported them, respectively.  

Although COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for children in the 5-11 age group, with almost 200 deaths, it has a tendency to be far less serious. Despite this, Dr. Leslie Sude, a Yale Medicine pediatrician, says children should definitely get vaccinated as other variants such as Delta begin to appear. 

“Because of Delta, the number of children being infected either with or without symptoms is increasing,” she said. “And any time an individual is infected with the virus, they are a potential source of infection—they can spread it to a more vulnerable person, and overall help to perpetuate a cycle of infection that could lead to yet another variant.” 

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