Research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health indicated that it is safe for children to get the COVID-19 vaccine following a rare complication from a past COVID infection.
As per US News, approximately 1 in 3,000 to 4,000 children infected with COVID-19 develops multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).
A few weeks following COVID-19 infection, the complication entails a strong immune response that can lead to life-threatening organ failure. 74 deaths in the United States have been attributed to MIS-C during the pandemic, according to the CDC.
The researchers emphasized that it is unknown how the COVID vaccine would affect the more than 9,000 children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with MIS-C.
To determine this, 22 medical centers in North America enrolled 385 children older than 5 who had MIS-C from a previous COVID infection but were now able to receive the vaccine.
Approximately half of the cohort received at least one vaccination. The typical duration between an MIS-C diagnosis and the administration of the first vaccination dose was nine months.
The average age of research participants was 12 years old, and approximately 74% were male. Participants were of various races. The report was published online in JAMA Network Open on January 3.
Researchers discovered that 49% of those who received the vaccine experienced mild side effects such as arm discomfort and weariness, a rate comparable to that of the general population. There were no reports of significant problems such as cardiac irritation (myocarditis) or MIS-C recurrence.
In an NIH news release, study co-leader Dr. Matthew Elias stated, “We are quite reassured by the results, and this safety evidence should be soothing to families and health care professionals when contemplating and recommending vaccination.” He is a pediatric cardiologist and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively.
Dr. Audrey Dionne, a pediatric cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, said the findings confirm the CDC’s recommendation that patients who have had MIS-C receive a COVID-19 immunization at least 90 days following diagnosis.
MIS-C appears to be declining, according to other studies. “A significant portion of this drop can be attributed to the preventive effect of the COVID immunization against this rare disease in people who have received it,” Dionne explained.
The researchers will continue to monitor MIS-C patients. Despite the fact that many make a full clinical recovery, several studies indicate that chronic symptoms may persist for an extended period of time.