When it comes to fighting COVID-19, we know there are many sources of information. We are grateful you trust us to give you the answers you need and the care your family deserves.
Our Approach to COVID-19 Vaccine
When you come to Towson Pediatrics, we want you to feel comfortable throughout the vaccine process. Here are a few things to get you started:
- On the day of your appointment, you will check in to our front desk as you do for a normal appointment.
- Children 6 months through 5 years of age can be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech.
- We will ask you to view the CDC’s fact sheet and to sign a waiver or consent form.
- After check-in, you and your child may wait in the lobby. We kindly ask for your patience as you allow us to get your vaccine ready.
COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 6 Months and Older
All children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old are recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccination, according to the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
“Vaccinating children will help protect them from getting COVID-19 and therefore reducing their risk of severe disease, hospitalizations, or developing long-term COVID-19 complications. Getting your children vaccinated can help protect them against COVID-19, as well as reduce disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission.” – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Young people are vulnerable to the virus, just like everyone else. Getting them vaccinated is the best way to protect them, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect others.
The COVID-19 vaccine for children is not the same as those administered to older teenagers and adults. They are sent to us, specifically marked and indicated for children. Children and teens are not just little adults. Special concern has been taken for their approved vaccines.
What to Expect
Before the shot, we realize you may have questions. We will answer any concerns you may have. We will inform you of the risks and benefits of protecting your child against COVID-19. We will talk about possible side effects, and encourage you to wait with your child around our office for about 15 minutes before you leave.
Before you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you will fill out CDC’s pre-vaccination screening form for your child. This is to make sure they are a good candidate for the vaccine.
If you answer yes to any question, you may need to talk to your child’s provider to determine if or when would be a better time for your child to receive the vaccine. For example, if your child is feeling moderately sick or severely ill, it is recommended to wait until they feel better before they receive the vaccine.
The questionnaire will help us determine if there is any reason your child should not get the COVID-19 vaccine today. If you answer “yes” to any question, it does not necessarily mean your child should not be vaccinated. It just means additional questions may be asked. If a question is not clear, please ask your healthcare provider to explain it.
After the vaccine, you will likely schedule another appointment for the next dose, if appropriate. Your child should be able to return to normal activities immediately after leaving the office.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the COVID-19 Vaccine Work?
The COVID-19 vaccine works similarly to other vaccines. Germs such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, invade and multiply inside the body. The vaccine helps stop this by teaching the immune system to recognize and make antibodies that fight the virus.
Is the vaccine safe for children?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children 6 months and older get vaccinated to help protect against COVID-19.
Who recommends the vaccine for children 6 months and older?
The Director of the CDC announced in June of 2022 that is COVID-19 is approved for children 6 months and older in the United States and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible.
Will my child still get COVID-19 if he or she is fully vaccinated?
After your child is fully vaccinated, there is less of a chance he/she will get COVID-19. If your child does get infected with the virus, including the widely circulating Delta variant, the child likely will not be as sick. Your child is much less likely to be hospitalized if you get the virus.
The vaccine is approved for emergencies. What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?
The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections when there is a public health crisis. The FDA requires you to have special information so you can make an informed decision about vaccination.
My child has been allergic to a vaccine in the past. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for my child?
According to the CDC, if your child has a history of allergy in past vaccines, you should talk to your provider to see if your child should move forward with the COVID-19 vaccine. In the screening form from the CDC on page four, there are ingredients listed and special considerations if your child might be at risk.
How does an mRNA vaccine help children?
The vaccine currently approved for those under 18 is considered an mRNA vaccine. According to healthychildren.org, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines contain messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA is made up of nucleic acids, which are the building blocks of all our cells. The mRNA carries instructions inside a lipid (fat) coating that tells cells to produce harmless pieces of “spike” protein. These look like spikes on the actual COVID virus.
When the cells make these pieces of spike protein, the immune system recognizes that they should not be there. Your child’s body then makes antibodies that get rid of the spike pieces. These antibodies remember how to protect your child from the virus in the future. A second dose three weeks after the first dose provides the instructions again, so the immune system can remember and practice how to get rid of the spike pieces.
Do mRNA vaccines change your child’s DNA?
No, the COVID-19 vaccines made with messenger RNA do not interact with your child’s DNA at all. DNA is your genetic material and it is stored in the nucleus of a cell. The mRNA in the vaccines never gets into the nucleus. And once your immune cells have used the instructions, they break down the mRNA and it exits the body.
Does the COVID-19 Vaccine contain live parts of the Virus?
No, mRNA vaccines do not contain any live or dead parts of the virus.
How were the vaccines developed? Were they rushed?
Vaccines were first tested in cells to determine if they are safe for people. The research is shared with the FDA, and then if approved, the researchers start clinical trials. There are several stages of clinical test, building from hundreds to thousands of people. They undergo rigorous testing processes and close communication with participants throughout clinical trials. There are specific clinical trials for children underway.
See the video below from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Schedule Your Child’s Vaccine Appointment
We thank you for trusting us to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to your child. We know you have many options, and we are grateful you trust us with your child’s healthcare. We would love to help answer your questions and help protect you against COVID-19. Please call (410) 769-8801 to schedule your appointment today!