Covid vaccine for children: things to know

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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Contents

  • 1 Covid vaccine for children: at what age it can be done 
  • 2 How many doses of Covid vaccine are given to children 
  • 3 What Covid vaccine is given to children 
  • 4 Who can get the Covid vaccine
  • 5 Contraindications to the Covid vaccine for children 
  • 6 Covid vaccine for children and Green pass
  • 7 Side effects of the Covid vaccine on children 
  • 8 Why vaccinate children against Covid 
  • 9 Is the Covid vaccine for children safe?
  • 10 Covid vaccine and other vaccinations

Covid vaccine for children: everything is ready! Tomorrow is his day! In some regions reservations have already started, while Lazio has done even further: from today afternoon the first administrations will begin with a V-Day at the Spallanzani hospital and in other vaccination hubs. In short, the time has come for the little ones. Let's try to clarify and, if possible, dispel some fears. Because we know, mothers: we all certainly have a little fear. The virus, however, must scare us more. 



 Covid vaccine for children: at what age it can be done 

The audience of children who can be vaccinated from tomorrow is between 5 and 11 years old. Children aged 12 and over can already receive it for several months. 

How many doses of Covid vaccine are given to children 

Prophylaxis involves 2 doses 21 days apart. 

What Covid vaccine is given to children 

The vaccine used for children is the one manufactured by Pfizer Biontech. Pediatric administration received the green light first from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and then from the El paesena del Drug Agency (AIFA). In the country, one and a half million doses will be distributed. 



The active ingredient in this vaccine is the same as that for adults (mRna), but the amount needed is one third of that of adults. 

Who can get the Covid vaccine

Virtually all children can get vaccinated. Priority is given above all to those who have a high vulnerability or who live with immunosuppressed subjects or who could have serious complications if they fell ill with Covid. 

Even children who have been infected with the virus should get vaccinated because some studies have shown that antibodies are not enough to protect the little ones for a long time. Symptoms must have disappeared to be eligible for vaccination. If you take only one dose within 6 months of healing, 2 doses instead if more time has elapsed.

Contraindications to the Covid vaccine for children 

Contraindications to pediatric vaccination against Coronavirus are very few. Children who are undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments for some types of cancer cannot do this. Obviously, doctors will know how to address families in the best possible way. 

Furthermore, those who are allergic to polyethylene glycol, or PEG, a component of the vaccine which however is found in many other products such as soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, solvents, cannot be subjected to it.

Covid vaccine for children and Green pass

Vaccination in the pediatric age does not serve to obtain the green certification which gives the possibility to access various places or services. In fact, under the age of 12 the Green pass is not mandatory. 

Side effects of the Covid vaccine on children 

Studies conducted so far have shown that possible adverse reactions to the Covid vaccine in children are mild, resolve in a couple of days and include: 


  • pain, redness and swelling where the injection was given. 
  • Malaise.
  • Headache. 
  • Fever. 
  • Muscle aches. 
  • Nausea. 

Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, would be rare and not particularly severe. 


Why vaccinate children against Covid 

Those who are a little skeptical of vaccination might argue that Coronavirus does not affect children in the same way as adults, which are less widespread and less virulent. At the beginning, when not much was known about this virus, in fact it seemed that the little ones were a little "snubbed" by Covid: in fact, there were not many cases. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said today. 

The circulation of the virus in pediatric age is gradually increasing in the useful weeks: according to experts, the incidence is quite high, 200 cases per 100.000 children. This is due, among other things, to the fact that the Delta variant, now predominant in our country, is extremely contagious. And it is not true that children are not hospitalized: many end up in hospital (6 out of 1.000), even in intensive care in the most serious cases (1 out of 7.000). And unfortunately someone also lost their life. 


Also, saying that babies transmit less disease because they have a low viral load is wrong. If they are not vaccinated, the virus will continue to hang around in an endless circle. 

Is the Covid vaccine for children safe?

This is a question that every mother with a child of vaccination age has asked herself at least once. The health authorities, however, continue to reassure: the vaccine is safe. Obviously it is still a drug and, as such, it is not without risks, in the same way as the paracetamol or ibuprofen we give for fever, no more and no less. 

In the United States, over 3 million children have already been immunized, and side effects have almost always been mild. The risk must always be assessed in relation to any benefits which, from what has emerged so far, are higher. The vaccine would guarantee 91% protection. 


Covid vaccine and other vaccinations

According to experts, there is no problem with the simultaneous administration of the Covid vaccine and the others that our children have to do according to the vaccination schedule. The same thing goes for the flu shot too, if you decide to do it. 

The only precaution concerns that against measles, rubella, mumps and chickenpox: it must be done 14 days before or 14 days after the anti Covid vaccine.

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