Vaccination against COVID in young children – what should you know?

Vaccination against COVID in young children - what should you know?

Starting December 14, 2021, children between the ages of 5 and 11 can be registered for the COVID-19 vaccination. The youngest patients enrolled in the vaccination program receive the Pfizer formulation at a dose appropriate to their age – 10 micrograms.

What do you need to know about vaccinating children? How many doses should be given? Is it safe to do so? And why is it even worth enrolling a child for vaccination?

COVID-19 vaccine for children

Vaccination against COVID-19 in children is carried out exclusively with Comirnata’s mRNA vaccine, popularly known as Pfizer.

The pediatric dose differs from that administered to adults and teenagers. It amounts to exactly 10 micrograms, or 0.2 ml from a 10-dose ampoule. A full vaccination is two doses given at an interval of at least 21 days – 3 weeks. It is best not to extend the interval between doses without justification. Importantly, the administration of other vaccines, such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and poliomyelitis, or MMR against measles, mumps and rubella, does not necessitate the postponement of COVID-19 vaccination. There is no requirement to maintain an interval between vaccinations.

It is worth knowing that if between one and the second dose the child turns 12, the doses will be adjusted to the current age. The first, due to the fact that the child is under 12 years old, will be pediatric, while the second, if given after the birthday – the one given to teenagers, which is 30 micrograms.

As with adults and teenagers, the vaccination of children is preceded by a medical qualification and requires the completion of a questionnaire. The questionnaire is completed by the parent or legal representative. In it, he or she also provides his or her data and signs a consent for vaccination. Importantly, the consent of one parent is sufficient. However, if the doctor during the examination determines that the child cannot be vaccinated on a particular day, a new appointment must be made for another date.

Three-dose schedule

In the case of children with severe immune disorders, among others, in the course of anticancer or immunosuppressive treatment, after organ or stem cell transplants, with moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency syndromes, infected with HIV, on dialysis or treated with high doses of preparations that can suppress the immune response, three doses of the formula are recommended. The booster dose is then given at least 28 days apart from the second dose. Note – referral for the booster dose is issued by a doctor.

Safety of vaccination

Many parents are concerned about the safety of vaccinations.

As statistics show, out of 1.6 million vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 only 320 had mild adverse reactions. This represents just 0.02% of all those vaccinated in this age group. In comparison, nearly 500 children were hospitalized in the first two weeks of November due to severe COVID-19. The average age of the aforementioned patients was 6 years.

As for side effects, according to the study, they include pain, redness and/or swelling at the injection site, a feeling of fatigue, headache, muscle pain and chills. All subside by a few days after vaccination. In the case of adults, there has been talk of a risk of a serious adverse event in the form of myocarditis – this has occurred in an extremely small group, mostly in men under the age of 30 after the second dose of the vaccine. Does it also occur in children? To date, there has been no reported case of myocarditis after vaccination.

Why is it worth vaccinating children for COVID?

Why is it worth vaccinating children for COVID-19 at all? First and foremost, to build natural immunity to the disease, minimize the risk of severe illness or death and the occurrence of the so-called “post-COVID effect.”

In addition, vaccination is a way to protect others in the child’s close environment – parents, grandparents, other children, teachers, etc.

Read: Countries need support to vaccinate their highest risk groups


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