Children’s Vaccination: Parents started raising questions about the corona vaccine being administered to children in America, preparations to bring the same vaccine to India; Know what their concerns are…
In the midst of the third wave of corona in India and the possibility of children becoming more ill in it, questions are being raised about the corona vaccine being given to children in America. These questions range from long-term effects of the vaccine on children to existing side effects. Many parents have a question as to why the vaccination of children should not be stopped till a lot of information is accumulated on this issue.
Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is allowed in the US for children and teens aged 12 to 17 years. Soon two more vaccines will also be allowed.
These questions being raised by American parents are important to us for three reasons. America is the only country ahead of India in the cases of first-corona infected. Second- children are getting the corona vaccine along with adults very fast in America and third- Pfizer’s mRMA vaccine, which is currently being administered to children in America, is soon going to be brought to children in India as well.
So let’s know what are the questions arising about children’s vaccine and their answers …
Q. Should children who have recently been vaccinated against other diseases get the corona vaccine?
The CDC initially recommended that no other vaccine be given two weeks before and two weeks after the corona vaccine, but now the CDC says that there is no need to keep such a time gap between the corona vaccine and other vaccines.
The CDC says that the side effects of applying the corona vaccine alone and applying it with any other vaccine are the same. The CDC says that if more than one vaccine is to be given in the same visit, then the vaccine can be given in different parts of the child’s body.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization of pediatric doctors in the US, endorsed this advice from the CDC. Doctors say that this will not affect the routine immunization of children.
Q. Can children have different side effects from adults?
The experience of American children’s corona vaccination shows that children between the ages of 12 and 15 have a higher fever than adults.
According to the FDA, the most common side effects in clinical trials on children and teens were…
Effect will last for three days: The side effects of vaccination in children and teenagers last for one to three days.
More Side Effects in Second Dose: Pain at the injection site is a common side effect after both doses in children, but more side effects usually occur after the second dose in teenagers.
More side effects are possible in children than parents: Usually in younger people, the immune response is more rapid. It is possible for children to have more side effects than their parents, even with the same vaccine.
Q. Will the amount of vaccine given to children be different to that of adults?
Two doses of 30 micrograms of Pfizer vaccine are being given to those aged 12 to 17 years. There is a 3-week gap between the two doses. Moderna is trialling children aged 2 to 11 with 50 microgram and 100 microgram doses. The company is conducting trials with doses of 25, 50 and 100 micrograms for children below 2 years of age.
Q. Has this type of vaccine been given to children before? How does it work?
The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA based. Here m means messenger. Conventional vaccines activate resistance in the body through weakened or inactivated viruses, while mRNA vaccines are directed to our cells to make antibodies.
This method of vaccine is new. The messenger molecule that reaches the body with the vaccine is included in the child’s cell, it instructs it to make spike protein i.e. notched protein like corona virus.
These spikes emerge on the surface of the cell. As soon as these spikes are released, our body’s immune system recognizes that this spike protein is foreign and attacks it. In this way the child’s immune system recognizes the corona virus and learns to attack it. In the future, if the corona virus enters the child’s body, then his immune system immediately recognizes it and kills it.
Q. Do we know the long term effect of corona vaccine on the growing body?
Scientists have data from six months of a vaccine developed for adults and teenagers and three months of trials on children, based on which experts say that the vaccine is safe for producing antibodies in the growing body.
Kristin Oliver, a pediatric specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said that long-term research has not been done on whether the vaccine has any permanent side effects. Parents are asking specific questions, such as can the vaccine affect a girl’s menstrual cycle or fertility? But there is no biological explanation for whether the vaccine will work in such cases.
Another thing is that after the work is done, the cell destroys the mRNA vaccine molecule, so it does not remain in the body.
Q. When the risk of corona in children is very low, then should we not wait till more data comes?
There is a high risk of children getting serious illness from corona, then they are at risk. At the very beginning of Corona, about 40 children in America have been found to be Corona positive. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), more than 300 have died due to corona. Until a few months ago, Multi System Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) was observed in children. In this, inflammation was seen in many internal organs of children including heart.
Dr. Megan Rainey, a professor and emergency room physician at Brown University in Providence, says that the chances of children getting corona and falling seriously ill are low, but not zero. Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Center for Vaccine Education at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Advisory Panel, says that 24% of corona cases in the US are in children.
He says that every year in America, about 75 to 150 children die of flu, about 100 children from chickenpox, but the number of children who lose their lives from corona is much higher than this. Come to the hospital once and see what the corona disease looks like. That’s why every possible reason exists for getting children vaccinated. Especially children of 12-15 years should be vaccinated immediately.
When will children under 12 get the vaccine?
The vaccine may be available to children under the age of 12 in the US after December. Pfizer plans to approve its vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 in September.
Trials for children below the age of six months will start from this December.