The Importance of Vaccinating Children to Curb the Spread of COVID-19
Vaccinating children against Covid-19 is detrimental to protecting them from COVID-related infections, deaths and hospitalization. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, about 1.9 million children aged 5-11 years have been infected. The pandemic has also adversely affected children's mental health and education.
The CDC recommends that anyone 12 or over must get the COVID-19 vaccine to control the spread of the virus. If children get infected with Covid-19, they can transmit the coronavirus to others, even when they don't exhibit any signs and symptoms. Getting the vaccine can protect the children and people around them, reducing the chance of transmitting the virus to others, including friends and family members who may be more susceptible to the deadly consequences of the infection.
Covid Symptoms in Children
Many children with COVID-19 don't exhibit any signs or symptoms. The common covid symptoms in children include cough and cold with congestion, loss of taste, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache and low-grade fever. Over-the-counter fever and pain reducers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be given to relieve symptoms.
Another potential COVID-19 symptom in children is croup. Croup is the inflammation of the airways that may lead to:
- Stridor (coarse, high-pitched sound when breathing)
- A barking cough
- Distressed breathing
If your child exhibits signs and symptoms of croup, get them tested and evaluated for Covid-19.
Covid 19 vaccines available in India for children
Two homegrown vaccines have been approved by the Indian government for children under 12. Covaxin has been granted permission for emergency use for the 6-12 age group. Two other vaccines- Zydus's two-dose jab for children above the age group of 12 and Corbevax for children aged five-12 have also been given emergency approval. Corbevax is currently being administered to children who fall in the age group of 12-14.
Benefits of Covid 19 vaccines for children
Covid 19 vaccines for children in India can help curb the spread of the infection. Here are a few other benefits of covid 19 vaccines for children in India:
Prevent kids from getting Covid 19
In most cases, covid 19 symptoms are milder in children than in adults. But sometimes, children who get infected with covid 19 can get very sick and even get hospitalized. The variants of coronavirus can be very contagious and lead to severe complications in kids. In rare cases, coronavirus can even cause death in children. The current vaccines can prevent severe illnesses caused by coronavirus variants in children.
Can stop other variants of the virus from emerging
Coronavirus variants have led to an increase in Covid-19 infection in children. By getting vaccinated, children can reduce viral transmissions and stop the virus from mutating into new variants that can be deadly. However, the virus can transmit between unvaccinated adults and children, allowing new variants to emerge.
Help protect the community
Another important reason to consider a COVID-19 vaccine for your children is to reduce the spread of infection and protect the health of people around them. Each child infected with the virus can transmit the infection to others living or working in the community. This transmission can even give a chance for the virus to mutate and create a new variant that could be even more infectious or resistant to the available therapies and vaccines.
Can help your children restore their normal lives
Getting vaccinated against covid-19 will help children lead their normal lives. They can go to school, participate in various sports activities and pursue their hobbies without the fear of social distancing. Vaccinated children have fewer chances to get infected even if they get exposed to the virus, and so they are more likely to continue participating in school attendance and other activities without any disruption.
Who should not be given Covid-19 vaccine?
Covid 19 vaccine should not be given to children with a known history of reaction to any of the ingredients found in the vaccine. Children with co-morbidities should only be given Covid-19 vaccine after consulting with a healthcare provider.
Side effects of Covid-19 vaccine in children
Your child may experience mild side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine. They might have mild swelling where they got the injection. Tiredness and nausea are also common in children after getting the covid-19 injection. Headache, fever, chills and body aches are also possible. But these symptoms will resolve on their own within a day or two.
Activities children can do after getting vaccinated
After getting vaccinated, your children should not stop following COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. They should avoid any kind of strenuous physical activity for two to three days post-vaccination, as their body needs some time to recover from the side effects of the vaccine. Children can attend online classes and resume their regular activities if they feel fine.
Precautions to follow after and before the vaccination
Here are a few precautions you should take after and before the vaccination:
- Wait for thirty minutes after being vaccinated
- Don't get vaccinated empty stomach
- Consult the staff at the vaccination centre, if you experience any discomfort during the vaccination
- Follow covid-19 appropriate behaviour after and during vaccination