We are offering Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to all patients 6 months and up!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us at 973-473-4033 or contact us below:
Vaccine FAQs for Parents
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
The COVID-19 vaccine works similarly to other vaccines your child has had. COVID-19 vaccines teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. After vaccination, your child has less of a chance of getting sick. And if they do get infected with the virus, they may not be as sick as they would without the vaccine.
What are the types of vaccines?
Three vaccines were given emergency use authorization by the FDA so far. Two require two doses (Pfizer and Moderna), and one involves a single shot (Johnson & Johnson). The COVID-19 vaccines that require two doses are both messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines. The other was developed as a “viral vector" vaccine. They all have the same result — protecting people from COVID-19—but their delivery systems are a bit different.
How do we know COVID-19 vaccines are safe for kids?
Clinical trials showed COVID-19 vaccines to be remarkably safe and effective for adults and teens age 16 and up. Trials involved tens of thousands of volunteers. After getting additional safety data for younger teens, the FDA extended authorization to adolescents age 12 and older. Clinical trials are underway for children as young as six months old.
How long does it take for the vaccines to create immunity?
It takes around 2 weeks after getting the second dose of the mRNA vaccines for your body to build up an immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. For the one-dose vaccine, building up immunity takes 2 to 4 weeks.
Do mRNA vaccines change your DNA?
No, the mRNA actually doesn't interact with your DNA at all. DNA is your genetic material and it's stored in the nucleus of a cell. The mRNA in the vaccines never gets into the nucleus. And once your immune cells have used the instructions, they break down the mRNA and get rid of it.
Which vaccine should my child get?
Currently, one of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer) is approved for teens who are 12 to 17 years old. Anyone who is 18 or older should get whichever vaccine is available to them first. This is especially important now with the rise in cases caused by the variant strains of the virus, which seem to be more contagious and continue to spread at alarming rates here in the US and globally.
What about side effects of the vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, but there are some short-term side effects your child may experience, including:
Pain, redness, and swelling where the injection was given
Pain in the muscles
While also rare, some people have had serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. This is why your child will need to wait for 15 to 30 minutes after they have a vaccination. If your child has a reaction, there are medications to quickly treat it.
As for long-term side effects, the CDC says this is unlikely. We have years of research and monitoring on other vaccinations that show side effects almost always happen within six weeks of getting a vaccine.
Is it safe to get a vaccine if I'm breastfeeding?
Currently, there's no evidence that getting a COVID-19 vaccine causes any breastfeeding safety concerns. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women should be offered the vaccine.
Can COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility?
There's no evidence that any vaccine, including those for COVID-19, causes fertility side effects. The vaccines don't affect puberty or a child's reproductive development in any way. It is safe for pregnant women and anyone who wants to become pregnant in the future. In fact, among the millions of people now immunized, there are women who got the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant and women who became pregnant after getting it. Doctors have watched these cases closely, and have reported no safety problems.
Who should NOT get the vaccine?
You should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19, Moderna or J&J Janssen vaccine if you:
had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine
How can I protect my child while we wait for a vaccine for younger children?
Parents should be vaccinated against COVID-19, both to protect themselves and their children. Everyone should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing and handwashing to model best behavior for their children that are too young to get the currently available vaccines.