By Matt Martinez
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Visit milwaukeenns.org.
If you are a parent and have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine that is authorized for kids ages 5 to 11, you are not alone.
You’ve told us.
So here’s some information to help.
1. Where can I get my kids vaccinated?
The Milwaukee Health Department provides vaccines at the Northwest Health Center, 7630 W. Mill Road, and Southside Health Center, 1639 S. 23rd St. Vaccines are also provided at the new Menomonee Valley site, 2401 W. St. Paul Ave.
2. Who can I call for help?
The Health Department also operates a COVID-19 hotline at 414-286-6800 that can provide information and help residents schedule an appointment.
3. Where can I get the shot?
To find places where you can get vaccinated, visit vaccines.gov for a searchable database that will allow you to filter results for specific vaccines. HealthyMKE.com also provides a list of vaccination events and clinics. Vaccines are also available at local pharmacies, like Walgreens and CVS.
4. Any specific programs for Milwaukee children?
There are special efforts to get children in Milwaukee vaccinated. The Milwaukee Health Department is running clinics at Milwaukee Public Schools and Seton Catholic Schools through Dec. 14.
5. Where can I go to get quick info and tips about vaccines?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has fact sheets available about the vaccine and tips for parents, including how to make the vaccine process easier for young children.
The Mayo Clinic also provides a comprehensive list of questions and answers about COVID-19 vaccinations for children.
6. How does it work?
The Pfizer vaccine is a Messenger RNA vaccine, or mRNA vaccine, that instructs immune cells on how to make proteins that fight off the virus.
The vaccine does not contain any live coronavirus.
7. How was the vaccine tested for this age group?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the Pfizer vaccine was tested on over 4,600 children from ages 5 to 11 before being authorized for emergency use.
In the study, 3,100 received the vaccine and 1,538 received a placebo.
Children were monitored for two months after receiving their second dose of the vaccine. According to the CDC, long-term side effects will present themselves within six weeks of a vaccine’s administration.
Results indicate that the vaccine is about 91% effective among this age group.
8. Do kids get the same dose in their vaccine as adults?
No. The Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11 uses a lower dose than the vaccine for adults, a difference of 10 micrograms compared to 30 micrograms, respectively.
9. What are the side effects?
Commonly reported side effects with the COVID-19 vaccine are a sore arm at the spot of injection and flu-like symptoms.
The list included sore arm, redness and swelling, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, fever, nausea and swollen lymph nodes, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
In rare cases, there have been reports of cases of myocarditis, or a swelling of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, an inflammation of the heart’s outer lining, following COVID-19 vaccinations in males aged 12 to 17.
According to the CDC, the risk of getting myocarditis or pericarditis from COVID-19 infection is higher than COVID-19 vaccination.
10. Are there any other vaccines available besides Pfizer for kids?
Not yet. The FDA is expected to review Moderna’s proposal for vaccines for adolescents in the coming months. According to a recent news release from Moderna, the review may not be complete until January.
11. Will we have to get boosters every year?
It’s still too early to tell. Research indicates that the vaccines are at least effective for the first few months after vaccination.
12. Can you get the COVID vaccine and the flu shot at the same time?
Yes, according to recent guidance by the CDC. For more information, check out our NNS reporting here.
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