Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination for Adolescents

You'll hear questions about giving COVID-19 vaccines to kids...now that Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine is authorized for age 12 and up.

Vaccination is important for kids...even though most children who get COVID-19 don't get severe symptoms.

But kids can have "long-haul" symptoms (fatigue, etc) that last for months...or serious complications, such as inflammation in the heart, kidneys, or lungs.

Encourage COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents age 12 and up.

Get your pharmacist involved to share benefits of vaccination with parents and adolescents...and address misconceptions.

For example, vaccinating children may also help protect others...such as elderly grandparents or immunocompromised friends or family.

Your pharmacist can clarify that COVID-19 vaccines DON'T affect DNA...and that there's no evidence that ANY vaccine leads to infertility. Also, people who get COVID-19 vaccines CAN'T "shed" the virus to others.

Keep in mind, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently approved for adolescents. Stay tuned for data with Moderna in kids soon...and AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen later this year.

Expect to see more pharmacies giving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine now that Health Canada is allowing more flexible storage...undiluted vials can now be stored at fridge temperature for up to 1 month.

Kids age 12 and up will receive the same dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as adults... 0.3 mL IM into the deltoid, with a second dose 3 weeks later, or according to your provincial schedule.

Help calm fears if patients are nervous. Use distractions, such as asking about hobbies...or letting them listen to music on a smartphone.

Be aware, patients should stay seated for at least 15 minutes after vaccination. Fainting is more common in adolescents after any vaccine.

Access our chart, COVID-19 Vaccines, for updated storage requirements, safety and efficacy data, and more.

Key References

  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70(20):749-52
  • www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html (5-28-21)
  • www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-authorizes-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-emergency-use (5-28-21)
  • www.fda.gov/media/144413/download (5-28-21)
Pharmacy Technician's Letter Canada. June 2021, No. 370601

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