Amid horrifying news of rising cases of children infected with coronavirus, here comes a breather for parents. On Tuesday, 25 May, Moderna officially announced that their vaccine is 100 percent effective at protecting children between the ages of 12 and 17 against COVID-19.
According to a CNBC report, Moderna plans to submit the trial data to the US FDA and other health bodies by early next month, seeking authorisation for expanded use in the age group.
If the FDA grants the authorisation– with Moderna Covid vaccine efficacy being 100% – it will become the second COVID-19 vaccine available for use in kids as young as 12 years.
Moderna Covid Vaccine Efficacy: What We Know So Far
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The TeenCOVE study confirmed that the vaccine is safe and effective for adolescents. Moderna vaccine efficacy after first dose was found to be 93 percent effective in kids between the ages of 12 and 17. Here are some more details from the findings.
It is 100 percent effective after the second dose
Two-thirds of the participants received a placebo
None of the kids who got both vaccines got COVID-19
There were four COVID-19 cases of kids who didn’t receive the vaccine, reinforcing the efficacy rate.
However, as is the case with all vaccines, Moderna’s Covid vaccine isn’t free of side effects either.
Side effects of Moderna Covid vaccine efficacy
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These side effects of this vaccine on children are similar to its side effects on adults. These include pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, fever, and in some cases, chills.
For the uninitiated, FDA had authorised Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in adolescents ages 12 to 15, but Moderna was only authorised for use in people ages 18 and above.
And in keeping with the times and need for vaccinating kids, Singapore also approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. So if Moderna is approved for use on children, it will come as good news for concerned parents whose children are suffering from this dangerous infection.
How Important Is Vaccinating Kids?
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As for the importance of vaccinating children, yes, it is important to end the pandemic.
In fact, medical experts argue that vaccinating children is necessary for Singapore to achieve herd immunity. As Professor David Matchar from Duke-NUS Medical School explained,
“Around 80-90% of the population has to be inoculated against the virus for herd immunity to be reached,” he added.
Health experts and officials from other nations have been echoing the same thing. According to USA Today, children represent 14.1 percent of all COVID cases, making them no small group.
Yes, kids in general, are less likely to get sick, seriously ill or die, of coronavirus, but this doesn’t eliminate the risk factor.
Health experts say that vaccinating children may also hasten the return of in-person learning. This means that it will become less stressful and easy for children to go to schools and involve in physical activities with other kids.
Kawsar Talaat, vaccine scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said, “Children, particularly younger kids, probably aren’t super-spreaders of SARS-CoV-2, as they are for viruses including influenza. But the emergence of faster-spreading variants, along with rising adult vaccination rates in some countries, means that children and adolescents might soon be contributing more to spread.”
This highlights the need for kids to get vaccinated at the earliest. But remember, you need to prepare them for it. It is natural for them to get scared and panic. But make sure to address all their concerns before they reach the vaccination centre.
Here are some quick tips to help you start preparing your child for the coronavirus vaccine.
Tips To Prepare Your Kids For Vaccination
Clear their doubts
Most kids are scared of needles and injections, so naturally, they will be scared. Make sure to speak to them close to the vaccination date and keep them prepared about what’s to come.
Kids are smart, so take the time to explain in simple terms what to expect. But, don’t share too much information which might scare them. Assure them that how getting a jab will eventually help them to go out and play freely.
Make sure your child is calm
Before the vaccination process, make sure that your child is calm and has had food. However, it is best to not overfeed them, which can make them uncomfortable and they may throw up as well if they start crying.
Carry some quick snacks
There is a chance that there is a queue at the vaccination centre and getting a jab may take time. So, it is always better to carry water and some snacks like nuts or energy bars. You can also keep some energising drink to give them an instant energy boost if they feel low.
Keep them distracted
Try and divert your kid’s attention. You can play or chat with them or they can carry their books to keep their minds busy. Remember, the more distracted your child is before the vaccination, the more relaxed they will be during the process.
Reward them for their good behaviour
If your child is scared of injections, try rewarding them after they get their jabs. You can keep their favourite toy or a surprise meal once you are back from the vaccination centre.
Remember, even after your kids get their first dose, it is important to see that they follow all the necessary COVID precautions. Remind them to wear their masks, wash their hands frequently, and maintain social distancing always.