COVID vaccine side effects in kids 5-11: Only 1% seek medical attention

The survey results also showed that only about 20% of parents reported their children experiencing side effects like weakness, fatigue or headaches.

 Children aged 5-11 receive their first first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at Maccabi vaccination center in Katsrin, Golan Heights, on November 24, 2021.  (photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)
Children aged 5-11 receive their first first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at Maccabi vaccination center in Katsrin, Golan Heights, on November 24, 2021.
(photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine seems to be causing fewer side effects in younger children compared to older children and adults, a new survey conducted by Maccabi Health Services showed.

The fund has thus far vaccinated more than 40,000 children between the ages five and 11. A survey released Friday showed that only 1% of parents reported seeking medical counseling or treatment after their children were vaccinated.

“The results of the survey show that the vaccine is effective and safe,” said Maccabi CEO Sigal Dadon Levi.

The survey results also showed that only about 20% of parents reported their children experiencing side effects like weakness, fatigue or headaches and most reported that these side effects passed within a day.

While some 7% of respondents did report some soreness at the site of injection, about a third said they had no reaction at the site.

 A photo illustration showing ampoules of Covid-19 vaccine for children at a Clallit vaccine center in Jerusalem on November 28, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) A photo illustration showing ampoules of Covid-19 vaccine for children at a Clallit vaccine center in Jerusalem on November 28, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

In general, younger children have less side effects than older children, according to the survey, although the fund said there is not yet enough data to be sure.

However, when looking at weakness and fatigue, for example, only 7% of children aged five experienced this symptom compared to 14% of children aged 11. Half as many children aged five (5%) experienced headaches compared to children aged 11 (10%).

"Maccabi is happy to lead the children's immunization campaign, as in the previous vaccination campaigns,” said Dadon Levi, noting that 20% of all the fund's children have either been vaccinated or have an appointment to get the jab.

According to the latest situation report provided by the Health Ministry on Friday morning, some 5% of eligible five-year-olds and 9% of eligible six- to 11-year-old children are vaccinated.

 “I call on all parents to come and vaccinate their children for the sake of their health and the health of their environment,” Dadon Levi said.