Study flags small seizure risk from pediatric COVID-19 vaccines

A new study flagged two potential safety concerns associated with pediatric monovalent COVID-19 vaccines: heart inflammation myocarditis after Pfizer vaccination in adolescents aged 12 to 17, and seizure after Pfizer vaccination in children aged 2 to 4 and after Moderna vaccination in children aged 2 to 5. Vaccine opponents have been using the results to question continuing to recommend the vaccines for children. 

Recommendation: Posts about this study cherry-pick data to undermine the public’s perception of the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. If directly debunking false claims about the febrile seizures identified in this study, messaging may emphasize that 72 cases of seizures were identified out of 4 million children, and more than 70 percent of those seizures were caused by fever, which is relatively common in otherwise healthy young children and typically mild. The study concluded that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for children and encouraged caution when interpreting results, noting that “the analysis may have identified febrile seizures unrelated to the vaccination.” Ensuring that informational materials explain how COVID-19 vaccines help to protect against COVID-19-related fevers and heart problems—as well as severe illness, death, and long COVID—is recommended.