Our care team has collected many of the questions families have asked over the last few weeks. We will be sharing weekly blog posts and hosting Ask a Doctor live chats to answer these questions.
This week we’re sharing important information about which members of your family should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Be sure to check back next week to read part four of our COVID-19 Vaccine Series: What can I expect when I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
1. Question: How old do children need to be to get the vaccine?
Answer: The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people that are 16 and older. Both Moderna and Pfizer are doing trials now for giving the vaccine for kids 12 and older. It is currently estimated that a pediatric vaccine will be approved by late 2021.
2. Question: If someone has already had COVID, do they need to get the vaccine?
Answer: This is a great question! Even if a member of your family has already been sick with COVID-19, they should get the vaccine.
We still don’t know if you have protection from the virus after recovering from COVID-19, and we don’t know how long this protection may last. However, if you have had COVID-19 recently, you should not get the vaccine until about 90 days from diagnosis.
If you have been recently exposed to someone who had COVID-19, you should wait until your quarantine period is over before getting the vaccine. This will help protect the people giving the vaccines.
3. Question: Can people with allergies get the vaccine?
Answer: So far, out of tens of thousands of people worldwide who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, three people reported severe allergic reactions. These cases are being evaluated to determine exactly what the reactions were and what (if any) allergies these people have had. Before getting the vaccine, you should have a conversation regarding your allergies with your doctor.
The CDC currently recommends that every person stays to get monitored for 15 minutes after getting vaccinated. If you have had a serious allergy from a vaccine or severe anaphylaxis, the CDC recommends you stay for 30 minutes after your vaccine.
4. Question: Does the vaccine work for older people?
Answer: The clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine have shown to be just as effective for elderly people as it is for any other age group getting the vaccine.
5. Question: I am immunosuppressed and/or have a high-risk medical problem: is it safe for me to get the COVID vaccine?
Answer: YES! The CDC is ABSOLUTELY recommending that people who are immunosuppressed or have high-risk medical problems get vaccinated. Please remember, this is not a live vaccine. As a result, the vaccine is far less risky than getting infected with COVID-19. If you are concerned about getting the vaccine, you should speak to your doctor.
6. Question: I have an autoimmune disorder; will I have a flare when I get the vaccine?
Answer: People with autoimmune diseases are not expected to have “flares” after getting the vaccine. Flares were not seen in any of the data reviewed from the Pfizer vaccine; or in active COVID-19 infections.
7. Question: Can pregnant or nursing women get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Answer: Currently, we have limited information about how the vaccine may affect this group. The decision for a pregnant or nursing woman to get the vaccine is an individual decision based on their exposure risk and a discussion with their doctor.
After you get the vaccine, you will need to continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands. If you have questions about getting the vaccine for your family, ask your doctor.
Be sure to join our weekly online Ask a Doctor chat to hear more about the COVID-19 vaccine, and read the next blog in our series: What can I expect when I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The information in this blog is considered true and correct at the date of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information.