Elmo, everyone’s favorite red Muppet, has received the Covid-19 vaccine.
In a public service announcement released on Tuesday by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, Elmo’s dad Louie — also a Muppet — shared his questions about the Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5. Elmo is 3 and a half years old.
“Was it safe? Was it the right decision?’ I talked to our pediatrician so I could make the right choice,” Louie said in the PSA. “I learned that Elmo getting vaccinated is the best way to keep himself, our friends, neighbors and everyone else healthy and enjoying the things they love.”
Covid-19 vaccines are now available for children under 5, and here’s what medical experts say you should know:
COVID-19 vaccination for children is safe.
Before recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children, scientists conducted clinical trials. Then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for everyone 6 months and older.
Ongoing safety monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccination continues to be safe for children. The known risks of COVID-19 and possible severe complications outweigh the potential risks of having a rare, adverse reaction to vaccination.
Getting vaccinated can help protect children against COVID 19.
Vaccinating children can:
- Prevent children from getting seriously sick if they do get COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination continues to protect children against severe disease, including hospitalization. There is no way to tell in advance how children will be affected by COVID-19. Children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. However, healthy children without underlying medical conditions can also experience severe illness.
- Give parents greater confidence for children to participate in childcare and school and in sports, playdates, extracurricular activities, and other group activities.
Pfizer or Moderna? Which one is safer?
Both vaccines are safe, and both are effective. Both vaccines induce strong antibody levels, which correlate with protection against severe disease in older age groups. Preliminary results indicate that the three-dose Pfizer vaccine is more effective at preventing symptomatic infection — though these are early studies — and both vaccines induce strong antibody levels, which correlate with protection against severe disease in older age groups.
Children may have some side effects after COVID-19 vaccination.
Reported side effects are mild, temporary and like those experienced after routine vaccines. Side effects are more common after the second shot. Some children have no side effects.
Children receive a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than teens and adults.
COVID-19 vaccine dosage is based on age on the day of vaccination, not on a child’s size or weight. This is also true for other routinely recommended vaccines, like hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
Children who have already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated.
Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after they have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. For children who have been infected, their next dose can be delayed 3 months from when symptoms started or, if they did not have symptoms, when they received a positive test.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 after getting their first shot, they should wait until their isolation period has ended before getting their second shot.
7. Children can safely receive other vaccines the same day they receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Routine vaccination is an important preventive care service that should not be delayed.
If multiple vaccines are given at a single visit, each injection will be given in a different injection site, according to recommendations by age.