Covid-19 vaccine for kids: Experts bust top myths

  • As vaccination drive for adolescents picks pace in India, many parents are coming forward to get their kid jabbed, but some are apprehensive due to fear of adverse effects.
Children in the age group of 12 to 14 may start receiving the Covid jabs March onwards.
Children in the age group of 12 to 14 may start receiving the Covid jabs March onwards.
Updated on Jan 25, 2022 04:56 PM IST
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Covid-19 vaccination for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years began from January 3 onwards and as per government, over 3.5 crore children have already received their first dose. Children in the age group of 12 to 14 too may start receiving the Covid jabs March onwards. While many parents seem to be coming forward to get their kid jabbed, some are apprehensive due to fear of adverse effects.

Experts, however, are of the view that the side-effects of Covid vaccine for kids would not be very different from that of adults and getting vaccinated can save them from hospitalisations, multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), and death.

Here are some top myths busted by experts:

Myth 1: Covid vaccine is not safe for children

Fact: "The vaccine is safe, effective, and approved for children. The vaccine has been reviewed and has been found safe in children. There is no reason for parents to skip the vaccine when it comes to their children. Just because the vaccine for children has been developed quickly that doesn’t mean it is less effective. Remember that no steps were skipped, all the protocols were followed and after the successful trials, the vaccines are in use now. Also, the vaccine will not alter the child’s DNA. These are rumours and should not be spread by anyone. Do not get scared of the side-effects too as they are minimal. A child can develop a fever, pain, swelling at the injection site, and body pain. These side-effects shouldn’t bother you as they will go within a day or two," says Dr. Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharadi Pune.

ALSO READ: Diabetes, anxiety, MIS-C: Covid-19's many complications in children

Myth 2: It is safer for my child to develop immunity by contracting Covid-19 than by receiving vaccination.

Fact: "Getting children vaccinated against Covid-19 is the most effective strategy to protect them. No one should intentionally expose himself or others to Covid-19. The risk of Covid-19 infection in children is comparable to that of adults. Covid-19 may make children unwell for many days, causing them to miss school and other opportunities to learn and play with others. Children who are not vaccinated and contract Covid-19 may experience long-term side effects, including hospitalisation, multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), and death," says Dr Amit Gupta, Senior Consultant Paediatrician& Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.

Myth 3: Covid vaccine can take a toll on my child’s fertility in the future

Fact: "Well, this is not at all true! Firstly, there is no association between the Covid vaccine and fertility. The vaccine will not impact one’s fertility at all. There is no evidence currently available which suggests that it will make it difficult for a girl to become pregnant in the future. There are no studies that confirm that Covid affects puberty. In case parents have any doubts then they should get them sorted by an expert. In fact, kids should be encouraged to get vaccinated and lead healthy life," says Kathwate.

Myth 4: Covid-19 vaccine will impact my child’s heart and alter the DNA

Fact: "The vaccine doesn’t have any impact on your child’s heart. There is no data or clinical evidence to prove this. Not vaccine but Covid-19 infection can take a toll on your child’s heart. Getting vaccinated will safeguard the child from the morbidities associated with Covid-19," says Dr. Badshah Khan Consultant Paediatrician, Wockhardt Hospital Mira Road.

Myth 5: Covid-19 does not cause major damage to children, thus getting vaccinated is not worth the risk.

Fact: “For children, the advantages of Covid-19 immunisation exceed the known and potential dangers. Covid-19 can be prevented by having an immunisation. If your kid gets Covid-19, it can also protect them against severe sickness, hospitalizations, and long-term consequences," says Dr Gupta.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022