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Vaccines & Adolescents

Based on scientific evidence to date, COVID-19 poses little risk for serious impact in pre-adolescent children. Adult and older-adult populations are those who experience the most significant symptoms of infection. However, severe illness requiring hospitalization in children, and a few fatalities related to the COVID-19 or its complications have occurred.

In early May 2021, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices officially recommended vaccination for adolescents 12 to 15 years of age, following its decision to authorize emergency use of the vaccine to prevent infection among people in this age range. In clinical trials, side effects occurring within a week of vaccination were mild to moderate, and included soreness at the injection site, fever, chills, fatigue and headache, more common after the second dose of the vaccine.

Vaccination is a positive step for public health

At this time, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one available for ages 12 to 15 years of age. The Moderna vaccine is nearing emergency use authorization from the FDA. Evidence from clinical trials showed the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective in people 16 years of age and older who had no evidence of previous infection. The vaccine was also very effective in the prevention of confirmed COVID-19 in children from 12 to 15 year of age. The immune response in this age group was as strong as in the 16 to 25 age group.

The case for widespread vaccination is clear: if you remain unvaccinated, you risk spreading the COVID-19 virus to other people. Symptoms may be mild, but for many people, severe illness, long-term hospitalization and even death may occur. Vaccination is a positive step for public health. For these reasons, OU Health strongly encourages vaccination. Vaccines have proven effective and ensure the most widespread protection for the greatest number of people. Ask your child’s pediatrician about the vaccine and any concerns you have about vaccination.

Read more about CDC reccomendations for children and teens on the CDC's website.