Dr. Jensen & Dr. Wilson’s COVID-19 Update May 24th 2021
Vaccinating The Children of Uxbridge
With special guest pediatrician Dr. Sonali Mohile
It is our pleasure to put on our “doctor mom” hats to bring you some practical advice about vaccinating children against COVID-19. Between the three of us we have a few degrees (10) and even more kids (11), so we hope this qualifies us to have an opinion on this important topic!
Three Big Questions About
1. Why vaccinate children?
To prevent illness. Kids can get sick from COVID-19. Although children tend to fare better than adults with COVID, they are vulnerable to the complication of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), which leads to fever and widespread inflammation of the vital organs. Although rare, it is a very serious and severe complication.
To prevent long term effects of COVID-19. Sometimes post-COVID symptoms can linger for weeks or months. These symptoms include insomnia, breathing issues, weakness, muscle pain, joint pain, and concentration difficulties.
To prevent transmission. There may be children or teachers at school who are not able to be vaccinated (eg. allergies) or may not respond well to vaccines (eg. poor immune systems). Vaccinating all eligible children will protect those who are most vulnerable.
2. Is it safe?
Yes! The vaccine safety trials in children are all positive. Additionally, if you think about all the other vaccines you know—Hepatitis A & B, MMR, Tetanus, Chicken pox, Diphtheria, Polio—they are all the same for adults and children. There is no reason to believe that the COVID19 vaccine would be any different. The vaccine available for children right now (Pfizer) has been solidly demonstrated as safe in large trials and in the millions of vaccinated adults around the world.
3. Is it effective?
Yes! In the Pfizer trial among children, 0/1100 vaccinated children got COVID-19. Boom! That effect is “mic drop” worthy.
Three Big Actions for Parents and Guardians
1. Book your child a COVID vaccine as soon as appointments are available. Our public health unit is making adjustments to its vaccine and booking system to allow children 12 years and older to book appointments. Please check the Durham Region’s online booking site for updates. Or make an appointment at one of the select pharmacies that are offering the Pfizer vaccine to youth.
2. Prepare for side effects. Side effects in children are similar to those in adults: short lived and responsive to acetaminophen. Here is a vaccine after-care information sheet.
3. Support your child.
talk to them about their feelings around the pandemic and the vaccinations
talk about the science and safety studies behind the vaccine
explain the vaccine volume is tiny (less than 1/10th of a teaspoon!) and given with a very fine needle. It will just be a quick pinch!
ensure they are well fed and watered prior to vaccine
wear a t-shirt that can easily expose their upper arm
We unanimously recommend a trip to Kawartha Dairy on the way home. It works wonders to make the experience a more pleasant, fun, and positive memory!
As parents and guardians, we all want what’s best for our children and the children of this community. Parenting decisions are never easy! We do hope this information will assist you in making your decision with your family.
And for those of you who are asking the obvious question: “Are we vaccinating our kids?”, the answer is unequivocally “YES!” Five of our eleven are already vaccinated; three are signed up; and the three youngest are on a wait list.
Dr. Carlye Jensen BSc MD CCFP(EM) MOM
Dr. Jennifer Wilson BSc MD CCFP(EM) FCFP MOM
Dr. Sonali Mohile MBBS DCH FRCPC MOM