After a spike in adolescent hospitalization in the second wave in India, parents, as well as the government, are concerned about what effect COVID-19 may have on the children in the third wave.
Many vaccines are undergoing clinical testing in India, including Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and others. These vaccinations have also been tested on children under the age of 18. Some of the COVID-19 vaccinations for children have shown 100% efficacy.
In India, the Covid-19 vaccine is in its third trial phase for children. Vaccines such as Covaxin and Zycov-D (Zydus Cadila) are among the top priorities of the Indian government and are being tested on youngsters aged 12 to 18 in particular.
Here is all parents need to know about COVID-19 vaccines for their children:
Q. Are COVID-19 vaccinations advised for children?
A. COVID-19 vaccinations are effective. There can be some side effects, but they are generally minimal and only last for a short time. Although parents’ concern for their children is completely understandable, the government and the doctors are optimistic about the vaccination. With the third wave on the brink, now is the perfect time to get started on the vaccination and they are expected to roll out soon.
Q. What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine on children?
A. Pain in the arm, fatigue for a day or two and a mild fever are all common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine. Allergic reactions are uncommon, although they can happen with any drug or vaccination, and not only the COVID-19 vaccines. At the same time, it must be remembered that an adverse effect of the COVID-19 illness is far more likely than a terrible reaction to the vaccination.
Q. What are the chances of a child becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus?
A. Though the numbers of children with severe infection are small when compared to adults in India, it is a myth that children who contract COVID-19 do not become ill.
Recent numbers show that more teens are becoming ill from the infection. And although it cannot be said with certainty, the trend of the COVID-19 waves shows that the third wave might affect children as well.
In the recent past, even when children have done well with the infection, there have been cases of a rare post-infection inflammatory syndrome called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MISC that can make them very sick. Symptoms of MISC can include fever, difficulty in breathing, rash, chest pain or pressure, confusion, inability to stay awake and abdominal pain.
Q. Are there any children who shouldn’t get vaccinated?
A. Any kid who has previously had an adverse reaction to a vaccination or is allergic to any of the components in the approved vaccines should consult with their doctors before choosing if the vaccine is safe for them. For children who have underlying health conditions, vaccinations should not be avoided. In fact, they are at more risk of contracting COVID-19 and so vaccination becomes all the more important for them.
Q. When will the vaccines be approved for children younger than 12?
A. India’s health ministry recently stated that numerous vaccines for children in India are now being tested. Children in India aged 12-18 account for around 5-6 crore of the population, which is a significant number. And when it comes to kids especially, vaccination cannot be introduced without doing final tests.
In India, the government will decide on a specific approach to developing the Covid-19 vaccine for children. Nonetheless, the efficacy results of most vaccination studies are optimistic.
Q. How to prepare children for getting vaccinated?
A. Every child is unique when it comes to vaccination preparation. Some children are fine with it, while others are terrified of needles. If you have an anxious child, don’t tell them weeks in advance, but don’t surprise them with it either. Just don’t allow them too much time to worry or be concerned.
For some children, knowing exactly what will happen at each stage is beneficial. Describe the procedure to them. Also, be honest with your children: tell them that they will feel a pinch at first, but that it will end soon.
Book an appointment to know in detail about COVID-19 vaccinations for children: https://healinghospital.co.in/