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USF Health virologist breaks down what kids could expect from the COVID vaccine

Dr. Michael Teng, Ph.D. says he thinks children who get the COVID-19 vaccine will see similar side effects as adults.

On 10 Tampa Bay, we’re committed to keeping you up to date with all the latest COVID-19 news.

That’s why every week we are taking your questions to a local medical expert to talk about what’s going on. From the latest on where the Tampa Bay area stands with vaccines, to monitoring the COVID-19 variants, we’ll continue tracking information.

Dr. Michael Teng, Ph.D., is a virologist at USF Health.

Here are some of the questions we asked this week:

Q: Kids tend to do better recovering from COVID-19 than older adults, so why do they still need the vaccine?

“They do better, but as the virus is starting to only transmit in the younger children they're the ones that are starting to go to the hospitals. Even with some minor symptoms, you know mild COVID, some kids are seeing long COVID. 

The other part of it really, is that as the age groups go down, and the kids start getting infected, they are the ones that are going to be transmitting it. They're asymptomatic, they have their own social network of friends, so it's going to be a lot easier for them to transmit it, and then transmit it back up to adults."

Q: Will kids experience the same kind of side effects from the vaccine as adults? 

A: "I expect it to be similar, that's what it looked like in a very small trial that Pfizer did to make sure that the vaccine was effective in kids. They saw similar symptoms. The most common one is fatigue, besides injection-site soreness, but the most common systemic is fatigue, and then headaches, and then chills and fever."

RELATED: Why are younger people more likely to experience side effects after vaccine?

Q: Will kids receive the same dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine?

“It’ll be the same for a kid. If they change the dosing period or anything about it, they have to come up with a new emergency use authorization. So, the way they can fast track it is to make an amendment to their emergency use authorization, adding in safety data for the younger kids."

RELATED: Child vaccinations could help chart path to herd immunity as some communities struggle to vaccinate

You can send your questions to 727-577-8522 and we might answer them on 10 Tampa Bay Brightside.