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When will children get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s who else should wait



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So far, most of the adverse reactions to the coronavirus vaccine have been allergic reactions that were immediately treated by medical professionals.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The number of Covid-19 Vaccines managed in the US has increased significantly since mid-January, with the help of President Joe Biden’s executive orders who released almost all coronavirus vaccines for use. About 63.1 million people have been vaccinated in the US so far, but there are no children among them. At least not yet. Some new advancements in coronavirus vaccine trials provide a clearer picture of when children can be vaccinated against COVID-19 – we’ll explore that below.

We will also share what we know about other groups of people who may not have been vaccinated yet or who may be at certain risks. For the vast majority of people, the vaccines of both Pfizer and Moderna have been shown to be safe. However, as with any new drug, doctors encourage caution when taking coronavirus vaccines, especially for people who have had side effects from vaccinations in the past.

For example, a standard security measure with the corona vaccines involves staying at the site for some time after giving the injection. That’s to give medical professionals time to monitor for any side effects, but it doesn’t mean doctors expect anything bad to happen. Only a small number of people have had allergic or other types of reactions.

Here we collect available data from the FDA, WHO and CDC, along with information from leading health experts on who is advised to take the COVID-19 vaccine and who should contact a medical professional first.

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If you have had allergies in the past, you may be asked to wait 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine so that the medical staff can observe you.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When will a coronavirus vaccine be available for children?

Currently, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is approved for use in people 16 years of age and older. (Moderna’s is for ages 18 and older.) That’s because until recently the vaccine had not been tested in children 12 years of age or younger. That is to be expected. Vaccines are usually tested in adults first before researchers begin testing in children, once the drug has been determined to be relatively safe.

Moderna and Pfizer are now both testing their vaccines on children between the ages of 12 and 17. Moderna expects the label for the vaccine to be expanded to 12-17 years old this summer. For now, it is undetermined when the COVID-19 vaccine will be tested in children aged 11 and under.

What if you are pregnant or breastfeeding? Is the vaccine safe for you?

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the FDA will leave the decision to take any of the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines up to you and your doctor, but the WHO does not recommend pregnant women to participate at this time. vaccinate. Until now, UK regulators have advised against it until the vaccines can be tested and proven safe for pregnant and nursing women.

On Feb. 18, Pfizer announced that it has begun clinical trials to evaluate the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women. The first group of participants has received their first doses.

A boy wears a handmade mask to reduce transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Moderna has announced that it is the first maker of the coronavirus vaccine to test its vaccine on children ages 12 through 17.

Stephen Shankland / CNET

Should people with allergies get the coronavirus vaccine?

In the UK, on ​​the first day of administration of the Pfizer vaccine, doctors observed two patients who had severe allergic reactions to the drug. British doctors are told to monitor patients for 15 minutes after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. In the US, from December 21, 2020 to January 10, 2021, 10 cases of anaphylaxis had been detected following administration of more than 4 million first doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine – or about 2.5 cases per million doses administered, according to the CDC. (There are now more than 63.1 million people in the US who are now vaccinated.)

The FDA says complications are rare and some people may have an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccines, such as anaphylaxis or tissue swelling, from both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Some scientists are investigating whether the cause is an ingredient in the vaccine – but not the COVID-19 mRNA itself – that could trigger some of the reactions, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions unrelated to vaccines or injectable drugs – such as allergies to food, pet, poison, environment or latex – should still be vaccinated,” the agency states one of its COVID – 19 Vaccines and serious allergic reactions page.

The FDA has published a fact sheet on the Pfizer vaccine and a separate fact sheet on the Moderna vaccine. Both publications warn, “A severe allergic reaction usually occurs within a few minutes to an hour after a dose is administered …” Both magazines then list various signs and symptoms of such an allergic reaction:

  • Breathing problems
  • Swelling of the face and throat
  • A fast heartbeat
  • A rash on the whole body
  • Dizziness and weakness

If you have had allergies in the past, you can expect to be monitored for 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

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If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccine, the FDA advises you not to take it.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The World Health Organization says, “People with a history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredient in the vaccine should not use it.” The FDA also recommends that you don’t use the Pfizer vaccine if you’ve ever had a severe reaction to any of these ingredients:

  • Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)
  • Lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl) azanediyl) bis (hexane-6,1-diyl) bis (2-hexyl decanoate) 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N, N-ditetradecylacetamide 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and cholesterol)
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
  • Sucrose

The FDA similarly recommends avoiding Moderna’s vaccine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients:

  • mRNA
  • Lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]
  • Tromethamine
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate
  • Sucrose

You may still be able to receive a vaccine even if you have had allergic reactions to vaccinations in the past. In its most up-to-date guidelines, the CDC reiterates to the FDA by stating that just because you’ve had a serious allergic reaction after being vaccinated in the past, you shouldn’t automatically stop being vaccinated against COVID-19.

“These individuals may still receive the vaccination, but they need to be educated about the unknown risks of developing a serious allergic reaction and weigh those risks against the benefits of vaccination,” the CDC says on its website.

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Until most people in the US are vaccinated, you can expect everyone to maintain a social distance, avoid crowds, and wear masks in public.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How are you protected against the coronavirus if you cannot take a vaccine?

If you are a patient with a health condition that your doctor does not recommend getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you may have to wait until enough people in the US have been vaccinated to protect yourself. Even if you don’t take a vaccine yourself, being surrounded by adequately vaccinated people – what is known as “herd immunity” – can provide a measure of protection against the coronavirus. But that takes time. 90% of the population may need to become immune to the disease before those who are still susceptible can be considered safe.

To initiate that process, the best thing to do now is to follow the CDC’s safety guidelines: wear a mask when you are indoors (except in your own home), wear a mask in public avoid large crowds and keep a distance of at least six feet from people you don’t live with.

It will take a while for life to return to normal. To get an idea of ​​how long, take a look at this timeline of when different groups can do that take the COVID-19 vaccineMore coronavirus vaccines are likely to be rolled out in the coming months, and which one you take will also help you determine when to take it. And last but not least, here’s our updated list of places where you can get the vaccine.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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