The Covid-19 vaccine rolled out earlier this year and there’s finally a light at the end of this tunnel. Yes, with Phase 2 underway, Singapore is reporting fresh coronavirus cases, but it still remains contained.
The authorities have also been progressively rolling out vaccines for Singaporeans, and now, kids too will soon get their first jab of the dose.
In fact, the Heathy Sciences Authority (HSA) authorised the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids between the age of 12 and 15 years. Pharma companies are also confident of rolling out vaccines for children as young as two years old by September this year.
As an adult, you have a fair idea of the implications of this virus and how it has changed the world completely. Your child though may not have the larger picture. And that’s why you are responsible for not only showing it to them but also making sure they are vaccinated in time.
At present, Singapore is vaccinating about 40,000 people every day and those over the age of 40 years. It’s just a matter of weeks then before older children and then younger kids will take their first jab.
Parents then will have the duty to prepare their children for the vaccination process.
With kids, you will have to put some thought into the entire process. What to do before vaccination? That’s a common question that running through everyone’s heads right now.
And to ease your concerns, we’ve listed five ways you can begin preparing your child for the Covid-19 vaccine.
What To Do Before Vaccination?
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1. Plan the vaccination to avoid important dates
The vaccination process for children will most likely be similar to that of adults. It will require online registration and you will have little control over the slots or date allotment.
However, parents will need to make sure that the little one’s regular schedule is not disrupted by the vaccination.
It would be unwise to have the vaccination on the same day as an important exam or something with more weightage in your child’s life. You may need to move around things and also speak to the school authorities beforehand, in case you need to take a holiday on that day.
The reason we say this is because the vaccine can have side effects on some children, much like adults. So, it’s not entirely uncommon to experience fever, chills, body pain, fatigue after the first inoculation.
Also, avoid travelling close to the vaccination dates to be on the safer side. You may also want to avoid sports or other hyperphysical activities for a few days before and after the vaccination.
2. Avoid getting other vaccines
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends not getting other vaccines within two weeks of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. It’s also wise to not take one prior to getting the jab. Few children between the age of 12 and 13 years may require a dose of the HPV vaccine.
Make sure to speak to your child’s paediatrician and schedule the same at a different time. While there’s no data to suggest that the Covid-19 vaccine has side effects when it comes in contact with other vaccines, avoid the situation altogether as a precautionary measure.
Health officials also make note of all effects on the body after taking the injection to collect and study more data. Mixing vaccines will provide inaccurate results.
Ideally, your priority at the moment should be the Covid-19 vaccine. So do speak to your paediatrician accordingly.
3. Be patient with your child’s concerns about the vaccine
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Your child will have questions about getting the vaccine. Older children often read up online or source information from peers. Not all of it will be true and they will need to understand why it’s necessary to go through with the vaccination.
Sit your child down and explain how the process works. Answer questions they may have and keep assuring them that everything will be okay.
For younger children, you can also try roleplaying the vaccination process to make them more comfortable in the real setting.
4. Ease your child’s anxiety
The HSA authorities have determined that the effects of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on children are the same as that on adults. This reduces the odds of children having any major complications.
However, your little one may still be anxious about the vaccination process or simply has a fear of injections. Speak to them close to the vaccination date and keep them prepared about what’s to come.
At the same time, do not inform them about the vaccination process too much in advance. Children who are anxious may have the tendency to overthink the situation and that will only add to their concerns.
Instead, be honest and clear about the process but play it cool to ease their anxiety. Even if your child is scared about it, they will be calm having you by their side through the whole process.
Of course, you can always an incentive by explaining how this ends the pandemic and they can go back to playing on open grounds and interact with friends in school.
5. Keep your child calm before taking the vaccination
Right before your child is administered their first jab, it’s wise to make sure your child has had food and is calm. The vaccination process can be tedious and long, depending on the location and slot.
Be prepared and carry a beverage or snack in case your child gets hungry or restless. Also, carry a tablet or phone to keep them engaged before the process.
The more distracted your child is before the vaccination, the more relaxed they will be.
Where Does Your Child Get The Vaccine?
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It’s not clear at the moment as to how do the Singapore authorities plan to execute the vaccination campaign for children.
The authorities are yet to share an action plan about the same but it’s likely that paediatrician clinics will be actively involved in the process.
In that case, make sure to speak to your child’s paediatrician to prepare better for your child’s vaccination.
Do not forget to follow all the standard social distancing protocols during the vaccination process. Do wear a face mask and use a sanitiser when stepping into a health facility, and avoid public spaces as much as possible.
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