NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Centers for Disease Control has authorized the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15.

Adults can sometimes have some short-lasting but pretty uncomfortable side effects to the COVID-19 vaccines. CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez has what parents should know to make it as smooth as possible for their children.

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The Pfizer vaccine for teens and tweens is the same as for adults. The same two doses three weeks apart have proven to be extraordinarily safe and even 100% effective in clinical trials on adolescents.


But like adults, some children, it’s impossible to predict which ones, will develop some unpleasant side effects, including fever, body aches, sore arm, fatigue, headache and nausea. These are more common after the second shot and generally only last one to three days. Still, you might want to think about when the best time is to get the vaccine.

“Whatever plans you’re making, whether it’s exams, vacation, probably not the best time to get that second dose. You don’t want a child or an adolescent going into an exam the day after the second dose because they’re likely to feel miserable,” said Dr. Thomas Murray of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

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Murray suggests ibuprofen or Tylenol as well as plenty of hydration, but only if side effects show up, not before.


Dr. William Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president for vaccine research, explained on CBS This Morning why it’s so important for kids to get vaccinated.

“Importantly, it allows adolescents to get back to being adolescents, to being able to get engaged in sporting activities, to be able to go back to school, to be able to engage in drama club or gathering groups. So, it really provides an opportunity to get back to normal life,” Gruber said.

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Another important reason for children to get vaccinated is that we now know that even a mild case of COVID, common in kids, can cause heart and lung damage or lead to long COVID syndrome.

Dr. Max Gomez