Our physicians, nurse practitioners and staff are grateful to have received the gift of the COVID 19 vaccine! We owe a debt of gratitude to the scientists that worked tirelessly to develop this vaccine at an astonishing pace.
We want our ALL Peds families to know that we are recommending the vaccine to our grandparents, to our parents and to our friends. We do not yet have studies to recommend the vaccine to children younger than 16 years of age. Once the studies are completed, we will make a recommendation.
Many of you will have the opportunity to receive the COVID 19 vaccine in the next few weeks and months; we want you to feel confident that getting the vaccine is the right choice and the only hope to a path toward normalcy.
How the COVID vaccines work
- The Pfizer and Moderna COVID 19 vaccines are both mRNA based vaccines
- When someone receives an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, it tells the person’s own cells to make the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The person’s immune system then recognizes the viral spike protein as foreign and produces antibodies to eliminate it.
- mRNA vaccines do not contain live virus and do not carry a risk of causing COVID 19.
- The mRNA doesn’t enter the nucleus of the cell where DNA is located. Instead, the vaccine mRNAs stay in the outer part of the cell.
- After being transcribed into protein just one time, the mRNA quickly degrades.
- The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines confer approximately 50% immunity 10 to 14 days after receiving the first dose of vaccine and up to 95% immunity after the second dose. For the Pfizer vaccine, you will need a second dose 21 days after your first vaccine; for the Moderna vaccine, you will need a second dose 28 days after your first vaccine.
- We need 75-80 percent of Americans to receive the vaccines in order to attain “herd immunity.”
- The CDC considers any history of allergies as a precaution, but not a reason to avoid receiving the vaccine. Individuals with allergies to medications, food, environmental allergies, insects, and latex have the same risk of having the same risk of having an allergic reaction to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines as the general population.
- When you receive your vaccine, the vaccine site will monitor you for 15 minutes (30 minutes if you have a history of allergies) to ensure that any adverse reaction can be identified and addressed promptly.
Children and COVID 19 vaccine
- The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for people ages 16 and above. The Moderna vaccine is approved for people ages 18 and above. Clinical trials have started in children 12 to 15 years of age. It will take approximately 6 to 9 months for these studies to show safety and efficacy.
Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant and are part of a high-risk group (frontline essential workers, healthcare personnel and those with preexisting conditions) may choose to be vaccinated. Pregnant women were not included in the clinical trials due to historical restrictions on including pregnant women in clinical trials. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID 19 vaccines not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination based on recommended priority groups.
ACOG recommends COVID-19 vaccines be offered to lactating individuals similar to non-lactating individuals when they meet criteria for receipt of the vaccine based on prioritization groups. While lactating individuals were not included in most clinical trials, COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from lactating individuals who otherwise meet criteria for vaccination. Theoretical concerns regarding the safety of vaccinating lactating individuals do not outweigh the potential benefits of receiving the vaccine. There is no need to avoid initiation or discontinue breastfeeding in patients who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please discuss any concerns that you may have with your health care provider. We believe the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks and that receiving the vaccine is much safer than contracting COVID 19.
Please continue to wear your mask, wash your hands and socially distance!