August 14, 2022

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Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for children aged between five and 11. oscommon doctor...

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for children aged between five and 11.
oscommon doctor Madeleine Ní Dhálaigh, who is a member of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP committee, has addressed some concerns parents may have about kids getting the jab.
How do we know the vaccine is safe for kids?
“The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has conducted a large study on 2,000 children and in that study, the safety profile was really reassuring. What was even more reassuring was the fact that the immune response in the young age group was really excellent. They responded to a third of the adult dose, but responded in a similar fashion.”

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Children who contracted Covid have by-in-large avoided serious illness. Why should they get the vaccine?
“There’s a couple of reasons I would advise parents to consider it. One is that children can get sick and can get very sick. Luckily, it is a smaller percentage than the adult population, but it can happen.
“We also don’t know enough about the impact of long Covid on children. It makes sense to stop them contracting this nasty virus. The less virus circulating in the community, the less chance it can mutate. It has to be in a person to mutate and we don’t know down the line what a particular mutation will do to children.
“Luckily, we’ve been spared mass cases of illness in children, so it makes sense to suppress it as much as possible among all eligible age groups.”
Will children have to get boosters on an annual basis?
“At the moment, we don’t have any data on whether that will be needed. It is going to be the case for adults. I expect that it will be offered to children in a similar manner, but we don’t have any information on that just yet.”
Are children likely to suffer side effects?
“It will most likely be similar to what adults experience. Very often children will be anxious about getting a vaccine. Fainting from anxiety and from seeing a needle may be part of the picture of when a child is presented for a vaccine. Soreness around the area of the injection site, getting a temperature and a day of feeling fatigued are also possible.”
What advice would you give to parents who are on the fence about getting their child vaccinated?
“It’s always a good idea to have a look at the HSE website. It has proven to be important over the pandemic in terms of getting information that is safe and evidence-based. Some parents will decide to do it and some will not.
“We need to respect all views and decisions. Parents want the very best for their children. As a medical professional, I understand that, but I would urge anyone with questions to visit the HSE website.”
There have been a lot of breakthrough infections among vaccinated adults. What is your advice to parents about this?
“The vaccine has been preventing major illness and serious illness. If we can prevent children from getting the virus and prevent a serious mutation, that is a major positive. The reason we are still tracking the virus is because there is a cohort of unvaccinated people. The more people we have vaccinated, the better.”
Will your children be getting vaccinated?
“Yes. I will be happy to vaccinate my seven-year-old. I don’t want her to get Covid and I want to prevent it in any way that I can.”

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Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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