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COVID Vaccines rarely cause serious health issues in the age range 5-11, CDC Says

Editor’s note: Get the latest COVID-19 news as well as guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Coronavirus Resource Center.

Two studies from the CDC were released on Thursday. They showed vaccine safety for children between 5 and 11 years old. They also stressed the importance of vaccination against the coronavirus, which can cause serious illness and hospitalization.

In one study researchers found that serious health issues were uncommon among children who had received the Pfizer vaccine.

In another study researchers examined hundreds of pediatric hospitalizations during the summer months and discovered that the majority of children who developed severe COVID-19 weren’t fully vaccinated.

“This study shows that unvaccinated children hospitalized for COVID-19 could experience severe disease and reinforces the importance of vaccinating all children eligible for vaccination to provide individual protection and to safeguard those who are not yet qualified to receive vaccination,” the authors of the second study wrote.

To The New York Times Nearly 9 million doses have been administered to children between 5 and 11 years old in the U.S. to date. The CDC said it had received very few reports of serious health problems.

CDC researchers evaluated reports received from doctors and from the public as well as responses to surveys from parents and guardians of approximately 43,000 children between ages 5-11. Many children reported non-serious events such as pain at the injection site, fatigue, or a headache especially after the second dose.

Of the more than 4,100 adverse incidents reported between November and December, 100 were for serious illnesses, with the most common being vomiting or fever.

The CDC received 11 confirmed reports of myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle. This rare condition has been identified in boys and men aged between 12 to 29. Seven children were recovering, and four more were still recovering at the time of the report.

Two girls, aged 5 and 6, passed away after receiving their shots. They had chronic medical issues and were “fragile” prior to receiving them. The agency claimed that there was no evidence that suggested that there was a causal link between vaccination and death.

The CDC also received reports that children between ages 5-11 received the larger vaccine dose that is intended for older children and adults. Most reports indicated that the children did not experience any problems after an incorrect dose.

In a separate study on hospitalizations for children, CDC researchers studied more than 700 children who were under 18 years old who were admitted for COVID-19 during July and August at six hospitals for children in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

Researchers discovered that only one of the 272 vaccine-eligible patients aged 12-17 years had been fully vaccinated. Twelve were partially vaccinated.

Furthermore, approximately two-thirds (32 percent) of children admitted to hospitals aged 12-17 had an underlying medical condition. obesity was the most prevalent. About one-third of children who were under age 5 had more than one virus.

Overall, around 30% of the children had to be treated in intensive care units and 15% required medical ventilation that was invasive, CDC researchers found. Nearly 3% had multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, which is a rare but serious inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19.

About 1.5 percent of all children suffering from COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals.

The study authors stated that only a handful of patients who were deemed vaccine-eligible and admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 were vaccinated. This highlights the importance of vaccinations for adolescents and children who are older than 5 years and other strategies for prevention to protect them from COVID-19, specifically those who have medical conditions.


CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccine Safety in Children Aged 5-11 Years – United States, November 3-December 19, 2021.” “Characteristics of Children and Adolescents aged 18 Years Hospitalized With COVID-19 – Six Hospitals, United States. July-August 2021.”

The New York Times – “Covid vaccines rarely cause problems in younger children,” according to two CDC reports.

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