Pediatric Vaccine FAQs

Written by Seth Pozzi, Head of School on .

WHPS families:


As we mentioned in the November Newsletter, our goal is to share as much meaningful information as possible now that the vaccine is available. Agoura-West Valley Pediatrics, which has served as a valuable community resource throughout the pandemic, hosted a Facebook LIVE discussion on November 2, 2021. We are sharing the recording below, along with a summary of topics discussed.   



The full recording is linked here, and the key topics discussed are summarized below. 


  • 2-10μg doses, 3 weeks apart (compared to 30μg doses for age 12+).
  • Less fever and chills in young children than with the larger dose.
  • Development of the immune system is primarily associated with age, not size/weight, so don’t wait until a child turns 12 if they qualify now.
  • Side effects (fatigue, muscle pain) within 24-48 hours: Can give Advil/Tylenol if needed but only after the shot. 


  • Benefit of the vaccine far outweighs the risk of getting COVID.
  • No deaths or serious allergic reactions occurred during studies for ages 5-11.
  • Vaccine is approx. 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infection.


  1. COVID is not serious for children
  • COVID is the 8th leading cause of death in children aged 5-11.
  • Children currently comprise a larger percentage of those contracting COVID.
  • Children ICU and deaths are occuring due to COVID.
  • 30% of kids hospitalized w/COVID had no other comorbidities.
  • 8-10% of kids who get COVID become long-haulers.
  1. COVID vaccine causes myocarditis
  • 6x more likely to get myocarditis by having COVID than from the vaccine. 
  • Very rare: 450 cases occurred from children actually having COVID, 77 linked to vaccine.
  • If a child develops myocarditis from COVID infection, they are more likely to have complications and need to be hospitalized.
  • No child has had any long-term consequences from vaccine-related myocarditis. 
  1. COVID vaccine was available so quickly because of shortcuts
  • Full process took place
  • Faster because:
    • Able to get many more trial participants much faster than other vaccines.
    • Able to test more easily during the pandemic - many exposures to test against.
    • Jumped to the front of line for decision making because of urgency (normal decision making process remained the same).
    • Based on 30 years of research on mRNA.
    • Better technology and software now available.
    • Pre-existing studies of SARS spike protein.
  1. COVID is like the flu
  • Everyone is exposed to the flu every year and has some preexisting immunity. People have not been exposed to COVID until recently and immune systems are not prepared for it without the vaccine.
  • Flu does not have the same death rate as COVID.
  • Don’t have good antivirals like Tamiflu to reduce symptoms and contagiousness.
  1. COVID causes infertility
  • Catching COVID may cause a decrease in sperm count, vaccine does not.
  • COVID vaccine does not go after other proteins.
  • No issues w/pregnancy have been recorded.
  • Infertility should not be a reason to not get the vaccine.
  1. Vaccine (mRNA) changes our genes and/or causes cancer
  • mRNA doesn’t stay in the body long enough to cause problems (~72 hours).
  • mRNA does not enter nucleus and cannot change or reach DNA.


Pediatric Vaccine Approval: What does this mean at WHPS?

Written by Seth Pozzi, Head of School on .

The FDA has given emergency use authorization (EUA) to the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11, and once the CDC green lights the process, we expect some of the first shots to be administered as early as this week. CA has announced a vaccine mandate for anyone who wants to attend in-person school. While many parents are anxious to get their children vaccinated, others see this as a weighty decision or may not want to vaccinate at all. Here is an update on what we know so far about the pediatric vaccine and some other pandemic-related issues. 

Vaccine Safety
The vaccine was subject to the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. The FDA found zero deaths or significant adverse events in the trials for kids. Kids will generally experience similar types of side effects from the vaccine as teens and adults—but likely with less severity, in part because the immune system doesn't fully develop until puberty. Throughout the history of vaccines, side effects are extremely rare after 6 weeks, and there is no evidence of vaccines affecting a child’s future fertility.

When does the CA mandate go into effect for elementary schools?
The mandate does not go into effect until the semester after the vaccine receives full FDA approval (not EUA) for each age group. For ages 5-11, we do not anticipate the mandate going into effect until fall 2022 at the earliest. When it does go into effect, it will apply to children attending any in-person school in CA. At this time, WHPS is planning to follow California's timeline in requiring the vaccine for children when full FDA approval is granted, which we anticipate may be for the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 

Will there be any exemptions?
Governor Newsom put forth the mandate through the regulatory process, whereas other school vaccine requirements and the elimination of the personal beliefs exemption were passed through the CA Legislature. There is still time for further legislation to pass, eliminating certain exemptions, and schools don't have a way to predict whether that will happen. WHPS, like all schools in CA, will be subject to following the requirements and laws in place at the time. 

When might the mask requirement go away?
On last week's DPH school briefing, Dr. Ferrer indicated that indoor masking would almost certainly remain in effect through the end of 2021. It is possible that fully vaccinated children and teachers may be able to be unmasked indoors sometime in 2022.

When do quarantines go away?
Currently, fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine after travel or exposure to someone with COVID-19, as long as they do not develop any symptoms. We anticipate this will be the case for children who are fully vaccinated, which will mean fewer interruptions to school. As you plan for the upcoming holidays, remember that unvaccinated children must quarantine if traveling out of state. Be sure to account for a 7-10 day quarantine if you are traveling with unvaccinated children. 

What about preschools?
Trials are still taking place for children under 5. We will continue to update you as new information becomes available. 

Knowledge is power!
We believe high vaccination rates are one of the best ways for schools to return to normal for our children. We also respect the varying viewpoints and concerns of our families. We will continue to provide as much meaningful education and information to our families as possible. For now, we strongly encourage you to speak with your pediatrician about any questions you may have. Our friends at Agoura-West Valley Pediatrics are planning to host a live Facebook session soon. We will post the date once we have it, but in the meantime, you can submit questions on their Facebook page

Fall 2021 - Back to School Orientations

Written by Seth Pozzi, Head of School on .

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! 

We hosted live Orientation Meetings for each division August 2-4, 2021. In case you missed any of the information, please see the slide decks linked below. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to speak with the director(s) of your child's program (contact information).

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and fun year of growth and learning!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Head of School


Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Representation

Written by Seth Pozzi, Head of School on .

How To Combat Anti-Asian Racism Today | The 360 Blog - Salesforce
The violent shootings in Atlanta this week were a chilling and saddening reminder of the violence, racism, and discrimination faced by the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community throughout the history of our country, and alarmingly increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I wanted to share a some helpful information:


(not all are appropriate for young children & certainly not a comprehensive list of issues we should all know about):

How [NOT] to talk to young girls

Written by WHPS Preschool Directors on .

Have you ever told a child: “You look adorable today!” “I love that dress!” or “What a pretty ribbon you’ve got in your hair!” We all do it. But, child development experts caution us about about making frequent references to appearance, especially when speaking to young girls. 

What! Why?
A recent report showed that nearly half of all three to six year old girls worry about being fat. Kids as young as six rank body image among their highest concerns. Study after study proves that girls believe how they look is the key to their self-esteem. They think how they look is who they are. What was your highest concern when you were 6 years old? 

In her book Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, child development expert Lisa Bloom explains that many girls under 12 years old are wearing makeup regularly, and one in four young women say they would much rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize.

Instead of: "You look so cute"

  • Focus on what they are into: their ideas, favorite books, favorite color; their interests over their appearance. 

  • Talk about the last trip you took and ask where their favorite place is to go.

  • Ask about their favorite book and what they liked about it.

  • Read books to your children about powerful and accomplished female figures.

  • Know a police officer, firefighter, doctor, dentist or construction worker who is a female? Make sure your child sees this non-stereotypical representation.

  • See a magazine at the supermarket with a female on the cover? Introduce your child to the contributions to society she made to be placed on that magazine.

  • Watch the WNBA or women’s soccer, not just male-dominated sports. 

  • Here is a great site with a list of picture books, movies, and more.

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