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Health COMMENTARY: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children? There’s a lot to consider

17:10  24 january  2021
17:10  24 january  2021 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Guidance says there are no safety concerns about giving jabs to people with "long" Covid either. But people who are currently unwell with Covid - 19 should not receive the vaccine until they have There is overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is the best defence against serious infections.

Since the first positive results on vaccines have come out, a lot of people have asked me if I think everyone For some reason, a number of people out there trust my judgement on such things. The first thing I want to say here is that the type of vaccine being developed against Covid - 19 has never

a person taking a selfie in a room: There have been no influenza cases reported in Manitoba so far this season. © Getty Images There have been no influenza cases reported in Manitoba so far this season.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

As COVID-19 vaccination for adults rolls out, it’s time to consider the wisdom (or otherwise) of vaccinating our children. Indications to vaccinate a child population could include:

A pandemic causing severe and widespread illness/mortality in the child population.

A residual pool of young hosts that are spreading a lethal disease to the general population.

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The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid - 19 vaccine being rolled out across the US should be safe for just about anyone -- even the frailest elderly people.

There is nothing proven safe and nothing proven effective about injecting today’s vaccines . Let’s face it, there ’ s a lot we don’t understand about novel Covid - 19 which is why a vaccine will Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech.

An infectious disease in young population that’s led to suspension of educational, social and athletic activities crucial to normal development.

A selected subgroup of children who are at risk from this virus because of pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19.

Remember, these Pfizer, Moderna and other vaccines have been approved for emergency use for a condition that is causing significant morbidity and mortality in the adult population, and is overburdening the health-care system — in addition to overwhelming our everyday lives.

Read more: Even with new COVID-19 vaccine approvals, rollout won’t increase before April

In pediatrics, we are often asked what’s the definition of a child. Well, since Pfizer trials have included people 16 years and older, then for these purposes we are really looking at birth to 15 years.

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There is no currently available vaccine for COVID - 19 . However, many of the symptoms can be treated and Consider the specific needs of children with disabilities, and how marginalized populations may be COVID - 19 is a new virus and we are still learning about how it affects children . We know it is

The companies announced that their vaccine was 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid - 19 , an improvement over the 90 percent efficacy Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said the promising results so far offer hope that these vaccines could be “ the

Should we really be vaccinating our children if the disease has very little adverse consequences for their age group? Historically, we have immunized against diseases like polio and diphtheria that were a clear danger to children.

The same cannot be said for SARS-CoV-2 — symptoms are mostly mild, which is leading to a suspicion that we have failed to identify many active cases. Some very low mortality has unfortunately still occurred, but almost exclusively in children with serious pre-existing conditions — such as heart, lung or immunodeficiency syndromes — and in infants under one year of age.

Jonas Salk holding a book: Black and white photo of Jonas Salk © Provided by Global News Black and white photo of Jonas Salk Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, holds a rack of test tubes in his lab in Pittsburgh, Pa., in October 1954. (AP Photo/File)

It’s important to add that children have been harbouring non-COVID-19 coronaviruses for years, with little more than a sniffle.

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There are some major changes in how the state has decided to distribute vaccines , though the demand still far outpaces the supply. Support safe , smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.Details: Pfizer will provide the How to sign up for a COVID - 19 vaccine appointment.

Currently, there are several dozen coronavirus vaccines in various stages of clinical trials, with a For example, one vaccine for elderly or other high-risk patients, another for healthy adults and another for children . There are a lot of coronavirus vaccine candidates, and that ' s a good thing. COVID - 19 vaccine development has been lightning-fast. Several acceleration efforts are currently underway, like

A rare complication of COVID-19 in children is MIC-S — a multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which is serious, but also treatable.

Herd immunity

Realistically, the nature of the pandemic means no one may be safe until everyone is safe. Herd immunity may not be possible when there are seven million children in Canada (20 per cent of the population) unimmunized.

Can we really classify vaccinating children against COVID-19 as emergency use?

First, let’s consider that a child giving immunization consent is not the same as an adult agreeing to have a shot. Parents will have to give proxy consent in most cases. To get to that point will require feedback from trials done in the zero-to-16 age group.

Parents approached about their willingness to enrol their children in such trials have agreed in only 14-18 per cent of cases. Those assenting to their child taking part in a trial were more likely to enrol in one themselves, and more likely to have their own kids fully vaccinated against other diseases.

 

Moderna has struggled to find 3,000 adolescents to take part in a trial for those aged 12-18, announced on Dec. 10, 2020. (The size of adult trials has been around 40,000 participants.) It would seem wise to complete a trial on this adolescent age group before embarking on an early childhood trial.

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Trials involving children 11 years and younger will take longer, partly because the doses of vaccine will need to be de-escalated to lower strengths relative to the child’s weight. Approval may need to have a higher threshold, and emergency rollout may not be deemed applicable. Thus we should not expect an authorization for such a product before 2022.

Public trust

Currently, the American Association of Pediatrics puts COVID-19 deaths among children at 0.06 per cent of total deaths. But numbers don’t tell the full tragedy of this virus in pediatrics.

These small numbers are tragic consequences of a disease that seems to be preventable. But surely there is also a subgroup of identifiable patients (those with pre-existing conditions) who can be given the vaccine on an emergency authorization basis, once we have more data on vaccine safety in their age group — or even before. The vast majority of their caregivers will agree to the use of a vaccine in their special needs child once reassured by the medical profession.

Establishing public trust is now central to any decisions regarding the inoculation of our child population. We would need a safe vaccine with an overall acceptable level of risk for parents to agree to move forward with this decision. Currently there are significant numbers of adults who are vaccine hesitant regarding their own shot. Those hesitating on behalf of their children will be a challenge.

In addition to acting as a platform for safe reopening of schools, a school programme would be most practical to effect widespread administration of a childhood COVID-19 vaccine, as is the case of meningococcal and HPV vaccines.

But questions remain. Are we mitigating harm or reducing transmission? Is the vaccine going to be as effective in the early years as it is for older folk? Would the rollout be mandatory? Like a lot of COVID-19 discussions, for now there are more questions than answers.

Michael Hefferon, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Queen's University, Ontario

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe For Everyone? Here’s Who Should (and Shouldn't) Get It, According to Experts .
Both vaccines have been issued emergency use authorizations by the FDA—but some groups still have questions about the vaccine's safety.It's a monumental accomplishment for science, having not one but two vaccines go through the vaccine development and approval process in less than a year, in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. But while many have widely praised the vaccines and the scientists behind them for their rigorous testing through vaccine trials, some still have questions about vaccine safety in specific groups. Here's what you need to know.

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