Should adolescents take the mRNA COVID vaccine?

To follow up on my blog last week (Why should younger folks take the COVID vaccine?) warning about adolescents getting “long-hauler” symptoms, here is the advice from one of my favorite natural medicines websites, ConsumerLab.com.

  • The Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in adolescents 12 and older.
  • Although cases of myocarditis have been reported after the mRNA vaccine (particularly in younger age groups) (Shimabukuro, ACIP Meeting 6/23/21), the benefit of vaccination is still believed to outweigh the risk of myocarditis.
  • While COVID-19 is less common in children than adults, and, when it does occur, it tends to be milder, there are several reasons why vaccination is important for adolescent patients:
    • Adolescents who get COVID can experience persistent symptoms, even if the initial infection was mild or asymptomatic.
    • A small study in Italy found that 66% of adolescents who were evaluated 60 to 120 days after infection had at least one persistent symptom such as
      • fatigue,
      • muscle, and joint pain,
      • headache,
      • insomnia,
      • breathing problems, or
      • heart palpitations.
    • And 27% who were assessed 120 days or more after infection still had at least one symptom.
    • Persistent symptoms were observed even among children who had been asymptomatic or only had mild symptoms (Buonsenso, Acta Paediatr 2021).
  • Vaccination may be especially important for adolescents with type 1 diabetes, obesity, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, or epilepsy/convulsions, as these conditions have been associated with higher risk of hospitalization and/or severe COVID-19 illness in this population (Kompaniyets, JAMA Netw Open 2021).
  • Infections even among adolescents can increase the chance of the virus mutating and creating a variant that could spread through the community.

This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

 

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