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No, weight is not taken into consideration for the COVID-19 vaccine dosage for kids 5-11

The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11.

COLUMBUS, Ohio —
The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5-11.

Now parents are asking questions about it, including whether weight matters when it comes to the dose.

THE QUESTION:

Is the weight of a child taken into consideration for the dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11?

THE SOURCES:

  • Dr. Octavio Ramilo, chief of infectious diseases at Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

THE ANSWER:

No, weight is not taken into consideration for the COVID-19 vaccine dosage for children aged 5-11.

WHAT WE FOUND:

Dr. Octavio Ramilo says the COVID-19 vaccine is different than antibiotics and other vaccines.

"If we talk about the dose of an antibiotic we always do it per weight. This is different because it depends on your immune system and your ability to make good antibodies, it's not the same," Dr. Ramilo explains.

For kids 12 and older and now kids 11 and younger, the COVID-19 vaccine dose is not based on weight. It is based on an individual's immune system.

"The response to (the) vaccine is not related to weight, not related to age. It's depending on your immune system and ability to respond. We think between 5-11 they respond in a very similar way," Dr. Ramilo says.

He adds that kids' weight does not matter when it comes to side effects after the vaccine is given.

For every individual, the response is different.

"There's some variation, some people may have nothing. Some people have a sore arm, low-grade fever, mild headache. Ibuprofen works very well," Dr. Ramilo says.

According to the CDC, "there are no patient weight requirements for COVID-19 vaccination, and COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight."

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