The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for ages six months and older. Jessica Snowden, M.D.,chief of pediatric infectious disease and executive associate dean of research and professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, was interviewed by KATV and addressed questions and concerns about the safety of the vaccine for the youth population.

Dr. Snowden has seen firsthand just how horrific COVID-19 can be in kids. She is encouraging all eligible teens in Arkansas to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

"Teenagers in particular tend to act more like adults, as opposed to younger kids," she said. "So they can get more severe disease. They work in our grocery stores, they work in our restaurants; they work out in the public and interact with a lot of people and they are definitely at risk of getting the COVID-19 infection."

    Did the COVID-19 vaccine go through similar trials like the vaccine for adults?

    Dr. Snowden: Yes. the vaccines go through intense trials before they're approved to ensure safety and efficacy. They're tested on thousands of people from various age groups, racial backgrounds and ethnicities from all over the nation before going through even more scrutiny from experts at the FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    What are the side effects in teens who get the vaccine?

    The side effects found in kids are the same as the mostly mild reactions experienced by adults. A major concern of parents and women in their child-bearing years is based on rumors that the vaccine can cause. There is no evidence of any impact on future fertility or on pregnancy.

Arkansas Children's is Now Offering COVID Vaccines

Please note: For a COVID-19 vaccine at Arkansas Children's Northwest, please call 479-725-6995.

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