Doctors discuss concerns about kids' COVID-19 vaccines

May 19, 2021

The list of people who can get a COVID-19 vaccination is expanding.

Gov. Kay Ivey said Alabamians 12 and older now qualify for a shot of the Pfizer vaccine. This announcement came days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine's use on adolescents ages twelve to 15 years old.

Dr. David Kimberlin works for Children’s of Alabama's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He said it's critical for children's safety to get this vaccine.  

Dr. David Kimberlin
Credit uab.edu

"COVID is the tenth leading cause of death in children in the United States. So total numbers of children who are dying is undoubtedly lower than total numbers of older adults," he said. "If you look at it in terms of relative to other childhood causes of death, it is a major, major issue." 

Kimberlin said parents don’t need to be worried about adverse vaccine side effects.   

"When you think about what kinds of side effects might there be, really what you've got to think about is a sore arm. And that is a short-lived thing, and when you think about COVID being the tenth largest - highest cause of death in children, I think a sore arm is well worth the trade off," he said.  

Pfizer is the only company with a vaccine authorized by the U.S. as safe for adolescents.