Kids 5-11 & The COVID-19 Vaccine

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for our community, especially families.  Parents and guardians of children in our community have had to make often challenging decisions on how best to keep their child(ren) safe.  Raising children during a pandemic is hard.  Sending your child(ren) to daycare and school during a pandemic is hard.  Having a child that gets ill with COVID-19 is hard.  Making the decision to vaccinate your child again COVID-19 is hard.  This webpage is a resource for caretakers of children age 5-11 as vaccine for this group is being reviewed.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Children Update

 **Effective Immediately:  Iowa Healthcare Providers May Begin Administering Pediatric Pfizer Vaccine**  Your provider may still be waiting to receive their vaccine supply.  We appreciate your patience!

Pfizer and BioNTech have received emergency authorization from the U.S. FDA for authorization of the company's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11.  The FDA has formally recommended it for emergency use.  The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) reviewed, approved, and issued recommendations for use.  The vaccine is now authorized by the ACIP and the CDC to be given to children ages 5-11 years old.  

Vaccine Risks

The main risk associated with getting vaccines are side effects, which are almost always mild (redness and swelling at the injection site) and go away within a few days.  Based on decades of data gathered from VAERS, the vaccine adverse effects reporting system, if effects from vaccination have been identified, the vast majority take place in the first 6 weeks after the vaccine is given.  Serious side effects after vaccination, such as a severe allergic reaction, are very rare and doctors and clinic staff are trained to deal with them.  The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

COVID-19 Vaccine Risks

A small number of cases of myocarditis reported to VARS have occurred:

  • After mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), especially in male adolescents and young adults
  • More after the second dose
  • Usually within several days after vaccination

The risk of myocarditis also exists for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19.  Studies have also indicated an association between COVID-19 disease and myocarditis.  

COVID-19 Disease Risks for Children

  • The COVID-19 disease itself causes risks of severe health impacts to adults and children who get COVID-19.
  • Children have been noticed to by and large experience milder symptoms compared to adults.
  • Some children have experienced severe illness, including myocarditis.
  • Some children have been found to experience lingering effects following COVID-19 illness (long-term COVID).
  • Health complications due to COVID-19 are more common than complications from the COVID-19 vaccine.

Where can I get a vaccine for my age 5-11 child?

One vaccine supply is in the area, Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 will likely be available in many locations, including at your child's healthcare provider and local pharmacies.

Pediatricians Discuss COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Ages 5-11

SCHD gathered local pediatricians from Genesis Health System, Community Health Care, Inc., and UnityPoint Health - Quad Cities Muscatine to share information with parents and caregivers about the current COVID-19 vaccine that is under review for kiddos in our community.  The Pfizer 5-11 vaccine is currently being reviewed by the CDC.  If authorized, it is expected that vaccine will be available in the upcoming days.