Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Are you worried whether your child should get a Covid-19 vaccine? Or fretting over its likely symptoms? Go ahead and read what an expert has to say.
The New Year began on a mixed note. While the Covid-19 vaccination drive for children in the age group of 15-18 took off in India, the spread of the deadly virus and its variant Omicron showcased an upward trend once again. Even as a section of adults have been a little wary about getting the vaccination, even some parents are apprehensive about getting their kids inoculated.
But the need of the hour is to keep those fears away and go ahead with the vaccination, which is our safest bet to increase our immunity against Covid-19. The third wave, which is already upon us, is affecting little kids – even those less than 12 months old. And while we may agree that precaution is better than anything else as far as this obstinate virus is concerned, it is a little beyond our hands to control its air-borne spread.
Fears around Covid-19 vaccine for kids
According to Dr Chandrashekar Singha, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Intensivist, Madhukar Rainbow Hospital, parents’ fears about the vaccine are unfounded.
“The Covid-19 vaccine, approved by the Indian government, for children between 15-18 years of age, is very safe. There are strict precautions in place to ensure the safety of all Covid-19 vaccines,” Dr Singha tells HealthShots.
He pointed out how before receiving validation from the World Health Organization and national regulatory agencies for emergency use, Covid-19 vaccines are required to undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and efficacy.
“As with all vaccines, WHO and regulatory authorities will continuously monitor the use of Covid-19 vaccines to identify and respond to any safety issues that might arise,” he added.
Precautions to take before getting Covid-19 vaccine for children
But for the safety and well-being of children who are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, parents can take a few precautions.
The expert advices the following:
- Covid-19 vaccine and other vaccines should be separated by an interval of at least 14 days.
- The second dose should also be of the same Covid-19 vaccine which was administered as the first dose. Interchangeability of Covid-19 vaccines is not allowed.
- Persons who developed allergic reactions to a previous dose of vaccine should not receive the second dose.
- For persons who have active Covid-19 infection, vaccination should be deferred till 4-8 weeks after recovery.
- The vaccine should be administered with caution in persons with a history of bleeding disorder.
- It is recommended that both doses of vaccine should be taken for the full benefit of vaccination.
Side effects of Covid-19 vaccine for kids
Once your children get the Covid-19 vaccine, don’t lose your mind if some side effects show up. It’s natural! Didn’t it happen to you too?
“Like it happens with any vaccine, some people will experience mild to moderate pain on the injection site, muscle pain, headache. These are the signs that the body’s immune system is responding to the vaccine and gearing up against the virus,” explained Dr Singha, putting concerns to rest.
You may also notice mild to moderate fever with or without chill. But be rest assured that your child will be fine, said the doctor. “These symptoms disappear on their own in a few days without any treatment,” he added.
Some reported side effects of Covid-19 vaccine
- Muscle pain
- Pain at the injection site
The doctor also warns that if a high temperature lasts longer than 2 days or a new continuous cough develops, one should suspect a Covid-19 infection. “Infection not from the Covid-19 vaccine, may have been caught just before or after vaccination,” explained Dr Singhi.
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