Questions after getting the covid vaccine

Can the COVID vaccine give my child COVID-19 disease? 

No. The vaccine does not use a live virus and therefore cannot cause the disease

 

My child recently got the COVID vaccine and is now having side effects, what can I expect? 

The side effects recorded by children are similar to adults who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine:

  • Pain at the injection site

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Chills

  • Fever

  • Joint pain

  • Swollen lymph nodes 

  • Nausea

  • Decreased appetite

These side effects usually start within 2 days of receiving the vaccine, are usually self-limiting (will go away on their own without treatment,) and can last anywhere from 1-3 days.  They are more common after the second dose of the vaccine. The side effects are a sign that your child’s immune system is reacting appropriately to the vaccine. 

Allergic reactions that require treatment are most likely to happen in the first 15-30 minutes after administration of the vaccine which is why we monitor your child on site after administration. 

If your child is uncomfortable with the side effects, it’s ok to give over-the-counter pain reliever medication (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) after they have received the vaccine, but not before. 

 

I have given over-the-counter pain medications and my child is still uncomfortable, what else can I do to help them?

Just like any other illness that impacts the immune system, the best thing you can do to support it is to increase rest and fluids. Make sure your child continues to drink clear liquids (water, Pedialyte, etc) and gets plenty of rest. Don’t plan any strenuous activity in the few days following the vaccine. As mentioned previously, these side effects are a good sign that their immune system is responding appropriately and they will go away on their own within 1-3 days. 

 

Are there any serious side effects that I should watch for? 

Reports of inflammation of the muscle or lining of the heart have been recorded after immunization, but these are rare, (far less than 1%), however, if your child is experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, or heart racing/pounding within 1 week of getting the vaccine, you should seek emergent medical care.