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Posted on: November 9, 2021

Pfizer Vaccine Safety

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COVID-19 VACCINES ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE IN PROTECTING INDIVIDUALS 18 YEARS OF AGE AND YOUNGER

WINONA, Minn. – The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for 5-11-year-olds, which is a two-dose vaccine series where the dosage is one-third of the adult dose is administered twice 21-days apart, has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CDC’s October 22, 2021, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shared a study that found from June 2021 to September 2021, receipt of 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provided a high level of protection against COVID-19 hospitalization among children and adolescents aged 12–18 years in a real-world evaluation at 19 U.S. pediatric hospitals. This evaluation demonstrated:

• nearly all (97%) persons aged 12–18 years hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated.

• 16% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had critical illnesses requiring life support; all were unvaccinated.

Since July 1, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported more than 45,200 COVID-19 pediatric cases and more than 300 COIVD-19 related child hospitalizations in Minnesota. Roughly 25% of COVID-19 pediatric deaths nationally have occurred in healthy children.

This data suggests that increasing vaccination coverage among this age group could reduce the incidence of severe COVID-19 in the United States. The data also supports the trial results demonstrating the safety of the vaccine in younger children who will receive a smaller, but still effective, dose.

Many parents have expressed concerns regarding myocarditis and pericarditis caused by the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Harvard Health, Myocarditis is an "inflammation of the heart muscle that decreases the ability of the heart to pump blood normally." “Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the thin, saclike tissue surrounding your heart,” according to the Mayo Clinic. In the FDA’s and CDC’s consideration for approval of this vaccine for the 5-to-11-year-old population, the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks. A research study by the CDC, Emory University, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta reported patients with COVID-19 are at a 16x higher risk of contracting myocarditis than patients not diagnosed with COVID-19. The study estimates that among 12-17-year-old youth the vaccine has prevented: 

• 14,200 cases of COVID-19, • 398 hospitalizations, • 109 ICU admissions, and • 3 deaths per million doses administered. As with any medical decision, it is important to consult your medical provider to discuss what is best for you and your family.

Additional resources are available to help parents and guardians prepare their child for vaccination for COVID-19 or any other inoculation at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/visit/before-during-after-shots.html.

Recommendations include: • Talk to your child before the visit about what to expect. • Telling the doctor or nurse about any allergies your child may have. o After your child’s COVID-19 vaccination, you will be asked to stay for 15–30 minutes so your child can be observed in case they have a severe allergic reaction and need immediate treatment. • Children may experience similar signs and symptoms as adults including redness and swelling at the injection site and feeling tired for a day or two after the shot. These side effects are normal, however, if they persist, please contact your medical provider.

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