As COVID-19 vaccines have just begun to be given, we know many of you have questions about COVID vaccination for children.   The doctors at Heritage are just as anxious as you are to see the end of this pandemic.  We understand that the expediency of the vaccine production is both incredible and concerning.  We understand that external factors have made it hard to know if the vaccines will be safe.  We want you to know and expect the following.

  1. For most children, it’s not time to decide yet:  All of the authorized and potentially authorized vaccines coming to the US are only approved for 16 years and older.   There have been no Stage 3 Clinical Trials including children yet, which are necessary to determine dosing, efficacy and tolerability.  These trials will begin in January of 2021 and therefore will likely take many months before completion.  We do not expect approval to vaccinate 0-16 year old’s until well into 2021.  Additionally, 16-18 year old’s will be some of the last in line to get current vaccines as they are the healthiest, so it will be months for them as well.  This will give us much more time to get a handle on the adult experience with the various vaccine products.   
  • Expect plenty of anecdotes about the vaccine in adults.  Remember, correlation does not always mean causation.  Just because someone got vaccinated on one day doesn’t mean that’s the only reason they had an issue the next day, such as a headache or new illness.    With many people getting vaccinated, some may have issues arise that would have happened anyways.   Social media amplifies anecdotes, so be patient as you hear sensational stories.   Controlled, randomized clinical trials help us sort out correlation from causation.
  • Your doctors at Heritage are closely following the developmental process of each vaccine product.  Rest assured, we will make our own recommendations once we have the full information available.   We will only recommend any course of action if we feel that the benefit outweighs the risk for each child, each family and each community.

For those of you with more questions on what is currently happening in the development of COVID vaccines, feel free to read more from the AAP here