Holiday COVID concerns: Will your child have vaccine protection after one dose?

Some kids will not get second dose until after Thanksgiving

HOUSTON – Kingwood mom, Elisa Lange, said her six and nine-year-old were thrilled to get their COVID-19 vaccine the first day it was available.

Although it seems strange for any child to be excited about a shot, they had a peek into how scary the virus can get when their dad got sick last winter.

“We tried to shield them as much as possible from what was going on, but they knew daddy was very, very sick,” Lange said.

On top of that, Lange had extra concern for her youngest daughter.

“She has a genetic condition and throughout this whole pandemic, we were pretty terrified of her getting COVID because of a lot of her health issues. We just didn’t know how her body would react,” Lange explained.

Dr. Michael Chang, UTHealth pediatric infectious disease expert affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, said of the thousands of doses given, he doesn’t know of any child with major side effects from the vaccine.

“We haven’t heard of any significant safety concerns,” Chang said. “I think parents should feel comfortable that it’s a very safe vaccine.”

Here are the number of doses given in our area:

  • Harris County - 25,566
  • Fort Bend County - 7,837
  • Montgomery County - 2,729
  • Brazoria County - 2,109
  • Galveston County -1,939

The Langes are happy their two girls have received their first dose and can experience a normal holiday season once again.

“Just a sense of maybe we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic,” Lange said.

Chang said if parents take precautions and there is no surge after the holidays, chances are we will be close to keeping the virus under control, maybe for good.

Many parents are still hopeful that one dose of the vaccine will protect their children through the holidays.

The truth is, it’s possible.

A study done on adults after one dose of the vaccine showed they had 82% of the protection offered by the Pfizer vaccine.

“It does seem to provide a little bit of protection over not having been vaccinated, but at the same time, you’re not considered fully immunized until it’s been two weeks after your second dose, and that two week time period is to try to make sure that your body’s had enough time to build that immune response so that you have good antibody levels,” Chang said.