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May 10, 2021

At Texas Children’s Hospital, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our patients remains our top priority, especially during this critical time. We are proud to be your choice for care and thank you for being part of our Texas Children’s family.

At this time, the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for people age 16 and older, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those 18 and older. On May 10, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15. State and Federal guidance requires us to wait for approval from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) prior to administering to individuals aged 12 to 15, and we anticipate that approval by late Wednesday, May 12. With that approval, Texas Children’s will begin safely administering the Pfizer vaccine to 12-15-year-olds.

Please see below for a list of frequently asked questions and resources. It’s important to note that information about COVID-19 changes rapidly and this page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available.

Please sign in to your child's MyChart account to ensure your information is current so we can reach you in a timely manner. If you do not have a MyChart account, please call 877-361-0111 Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can my child receive the vaccine?

  • As vaccines are available, we will contact those who meet the State’s criteria, and in accordance with our equitable allocation framework, to schedule an appointment.

Which vaccine are you administering to patients?

  • Currently, we will administer the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Vaccines are allocated by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and patients can choose one of these products as they are made available to Texas Children’s by the State.

As a parent or caretaker, will I also be eligible to receive the vaccine at Texas Children’s?

  • Currently, we will only administer the vaccine to our patients who meet the State’s vaccination criteria.

Can my child’s siblings also receive the vaccine at Texas Children’s?

  • Currently, we will only administer the vaccine to our patients who meet the State’s vaccination criteria.

Can my child receive the vaccine if they have symptoms of COVID-19?

  • If your child has symptoms of COVID-19 or is currently considered a close contact of someone with COVID-19, vaccination should be delayed until they have recovered from their illness and criteria is met for them to discontinue isolation.

Should my child receive the vaccine if they have already had COVID-19?

  • Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages vaccination regardless of history of prior symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

When will children younger than 16 be able to receive the vaccine?

  • At this time, the Pfizer vaccine is only approved for people age 16 and older, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those 18 and older, as the early clinical trials did not include children and younger teens. We are hopeful children and younger teens will be eligible in the future once additional safety and efficacy data is available.

Which vaccines are currently available?

  • There are currently three vaccines whose manufacturers have received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. for emergency use. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for those 18 and older.

What is in the vaccines?

  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) packaged inside lipid nanoparticles to teach the immune system how to generate antibodies against one of the proteins on the surface of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, so the virus can’t enter your cells. This technology has been used before to develop vaccines against SARS, which is how the manufacturers were able to develop and move these vaccine candidates into clinical trials so quickly. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, known as JNJ-78436735 or Ad26.COV2.S, is an adenovirus type 26 modified to produce the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. This adenovirus vaccine is used as a single intramuscular injection, and when it enters a cell it produces the vaccine protein but cannot replicate inside the cell or cause illness.

Do the vaccines work?

  • Efficacy of two doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is 95%. This means, in clinical trials, the vaccine prevented approximately 95% of COVID-19 disease in people who were vaccinated, and only approximately 5% of vaccinated people developed COVID-19 disease. Efficacy of two doses of the Moderna vaccine is 94.1%. In the U.S., the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 72% protective. Importantly, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was shown to be 85% protective against severe disease.

Are they safe?

  • From preliminary data, we know mild side effects are common. We know if you’re vaccinated, you should expect to experience some side effects, particularly after the second dose. These side effects are common and may occur after any vaccine. Although uncomfortable, these side effects are a sign that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and is learning to recognize the virus for the future. The short-term safety of these vaccines is clear.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

  • No. The vaccine only contains the genetic instructions to make a protein of the virus. It does not contain a whole virus that can replicate inside of your body. So, the vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

How long will the vaccines work?

  • We don’t know yet. As clinical trials progress, we’ll know more about how long immunity lasts and if booster doses will be necessary. Please remain vigilant to the practices which have proven successful throughout the pandemic – wear a mask in all settings, wash your hands frequently, maintain social distancing and avoid large social gatherings.

What can I do if my child is not feeling well?


Blogs


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