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State health leaders address side effects in Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year old’s

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The CDC has granted an emergency authorization for Pfizer for children five to 11 years old. While some parents want to get their children in that age group vaccinated, other parents are waiting for more information before making that decision.

It’s estimated that nearly 28 million children in the five to 11 year old age group are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccines. A top pediatrician with Children’s of Alabama said despite the vaccine’s effectiveness, there are some minor side effects.

“Very safe. The kinds of symptoms, the side effects that it had are what we all experienced in the adult population. Sore arm. Some tiredness,” Dr. David Kimberlin, Children’s of Alabama Pediatric Diseases said.

Dr. Kimberlin said these side effects are mild, temporary and won’t slow you down for a week or more. Some parents said they are concerned about possible heart issues such as myocarditis. Dr. Kimberlin said this has not been an issue so far from early testing.

“Myocarditis was not seen in the study of five through 11 year old’s. Now the study was not large enough to be able to see. I don’t want to over emphasize that, but it is a factual statement,” Dr. Kimberlin said.

Myocarditis showed up in some young adults, but it is rare. “So far what we have seen there are 40 cases in per one million doses of vaccine. That is incredibly, incredibly rare,” Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said.

Dr. Willeford said you are more than likely to be struck by lightning than get this form of heart condition. Willeford said young people stand a better chance of getting myocarditis after getting infected with COVID than from the vaccine. While those parents with questions may want to wait, state health leaders said don’t.

“I would say don’t wait. The possibility of harm is definitely there and you are not taking advantage of the possibility of benefits,” Kimberlin said.

Health leaders in Alabama are advising any parents with concerns to talk to their doctor or pediatrician to answer those questions.

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