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Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe for My 12-15 Year Old?

We now have available an FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 12 to 15 years old – and there are four things Joe Gastaldo, MD, System Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at OhioHealth wants parents to know.

1. First of all, the approved Pfizer vaccine is safe. The study that led to FDA authorization included 2,200 people, half of which received the vaccine, and half of which received the placebo. There were 18 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 and all occurred in those who received the placebo. No one who received the vaccine developed symptomatic COVID-19.

2. The vaccine was well tolerated. The most common side effects associated with the vaccine were pain and discomfort at the injection site, headache, fatigue, and low grade temperature. All symptoms resolved within 24 hours. ‘

3. Allergies. Children and adolescents can have a lot of allergies. The only true allergy for not receiving the vaccine is a known severe allergy to any of the four components within the Pfizer vaccine. It does not contain eggs, preservatives or latex. See the ingredients here. The rate of having a severe allergy to the Pfizer vaccine is extraordinarily low. People are monitored for any severe allergic reaction for at least 15 minutes and for some, 30 minutes.

4. Same dose. If you received the Pfizer vaccine, your 12 to 15 year-old will receive the exact same dose. This is a dose that was used in the clinical trial that led to FDA authorization.

Also note – this vaccine is free of charge. A prescription is not required for a 12-to-15 year old to receive this vaccine. The patient will need to have an adult or guardian with them to receive this vaccine. As an infectious disease specialists, Dr. Gastaldo strongly encourages 12 to 15 year olds to receive this safe and effective vaccine.


Go to the COVID-19 vaccine scheduling landing page