ATLANTA - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning parents should not give their children pain relievers ahead of getting their COVID-19 vaccine.
"It is not recommended you give pain relievers before vaccination to try to prevent side effects," the agency said on its website.
Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer’s kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opens a major expansion of the nation’s vaccination campaign to children as young as 5.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said children could experience temporary side effects from getting the vaccine such as sore arms, fever or achiness.
"These side effects may affect your child’s ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days," the CDC also said.
CDC officials said if a child does experience side effects, parents should talk with their healthcare providers about using non-aspirin pain relievers.
"In general, aspirin is not recommended for use in children and adolescents less than 18 years of age," the CDC continued. "Placing a cool, damp cloth on the injection site can help with discomfort."
In the U.S., there have been more than 8,300 coronavirus-related hospitalizations of kids ages 5 to 11, about a third requiring intensive care, according to government data. The CDC has recorded at least 94 deaths in that age group, with additional reports under investigation.
Pfizer’s study of 2,268 youngsters found the kid-size vaccine is nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 -- based on 16 diagnoses among kids given dummy shots compared to just three who got the real vaccination.
CDC officials calculated that for every 500,000 youngsters vaccinated, between 18,000 and 58,000 COVID-19 cases — and between 80 and 226 hospitalizations — in that age group would be prevented, depending on the pandemic’s trajectory. And CDC officials noted that COVID-19 has caused more deaths in this age group than some other diseases, such as chickenpox, did before children were routinely vaccinated against them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.