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Covid-19 Vaccination for 5- to 11-Year-Olds

by on 18/02/2022 1506

Since the launch of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children (PICKids) on 3 February, nearly 170,000 children between the age of five and 11 have received their first dose of the vaccine.i

Are you still pondering whether to let your child be vaccinated? We will share some key information in order to help you make an informed decision.

About The Vaccine

The mRNA vaccine Comirnaty 10mcg Concentrate for Dispersion (Pfizer-BioNTech) will be used. The clinical study of this vaccine showed an effectiveness of 90.7%, and it also showed an ability to enhance a high immune response to Covid-19.

The ingredientsii of the vaccine are:

mRNA, lipids ((4- hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and cholesterol), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, sucrose, and sodium chloride.

What the vaccine does is to build a harmless piece of protein from the virus that causes Covid-19 in the body system. This protein will then cause an immune response that will help protect the body from getting sick from this virus in the future.

This paediatric vaccination program requires two vaccine dose injections with an interval of eight weeks after the first dose. Based on the latest data obtained by the MOH, it is found that an interval of eight weeks between two doses given will affect the immune response and a higher rate of efficacy, as well as the potential to provide longer protection.

Is It Safe?

This is the burning question for most parents - is it safe for our young children to be vaccinated? Here’s what we need to know:

A child who has severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients used in the vaccine should not be given the vaccination. Also, you will be asked whether the child is on any blood thinning medication.

As for the side effects that may be experienced post-vaccination, these are some of the general effects that would usually last not more than 48 hours:

  • Sore at the injection site
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Headache, achy muscles or joints
  • Fever and chills are also possible

As for the case of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) as a side effect, it is rare and mild, and they tend to recover quickly. In the event of such a reaction, do follow our local clinical guidelines here.

Image Credit: The Star

Prepare Your Child To Be Mentally Ready

Once you’ve decided to let your child be vaccinated, do spend some time to talk your child through it in order to mentally prepare him or her. Especially if your child has not been vaccinated for some time and may feel rather nervous about being pricked and feeling the pain of the injection.

Explain to your child why this is an important protection to take, and how the vaccine will work in the body to build an immune response to fight off the Covid-19 virus in the future.

Most children are probably most afraid of the pain they may feel, so give them some reassurance on that.

What Happens On Vaccination Day At The PPV?

From my own experience, the PPV follows strict SOP, and only one adult is allowed to accompany the child into the PPV building. Remember to bring along your child’s MyKid and be ready with your MySejahtera app where your child is registered as your vaccine dependent.

The front-liners at the PPV are helpful and professional in ensuring proper SOP is followed, and the PPV is decorated to be children-friendly with posters and balloons. Inside the vaccination booth, I asked permission to take a video of the process and was shown the dosage of the vaccine to be administered.

It was all very quick and easy, and not at all traumatising for the children as the front-liners do make the extra effort to speak with the child, asking their permission to administer the vaccine and some even wear cute headbands probably to divert the attention of younger children and maintain a friendly environment.

Image Credit: MCA

How To Register Your Child

The first step is to add your child as a Vaccine Dependent in your MySejahtera app, under the Covid-19 Vaccination menu. Once you have done so, you will be able to register for the vaccine and eligible to select the PPV to go to as well as the appointment date and time.

We hope the above information has been helpful, and give you some peace of mind to let your child be vaccinated.