The vaccination campaign is underway: all the answers to the parents’ questions
1. Why should children aged 5-11 be vaccinated?

Most children with corona experience the disease easily. At the same time, a small proportion experience moderate illness and even severe illness and need hospitalization, these are mainly children who have background illnesses. This may change if new, more violent strains of children arrive, as we experienced in part with the advent of the Delta strain.

In addition, it is important to prevent the disease in order to avoid its possible complications, and two major complications are now known to be characteristic of children. The first is PIMS, A multi-systemic inflammatory syndrome that appears after the disease, when so far over 100 such cases have been reported in the country. It is a tumultuous and severe disease, which usually requires hospitalization in intensive care and unfortunately there have even been a number of deaths. The second complication is Syndrome long covid, As part of which there is a persistence of general symptoms, such as weakness, abdominal pain, headaches and general decline in function for weeks after the disease.

Vaccinating children will also make it possible to reduce infections in educational settings and to avoid frequent isolations and the heavy mental cost that results from this. It is also important to remember that there are people who cannot be vaccinated or who do not have the ability to produce antibodies due to treatments or other diseases (such as cancer patients), and vaccinating children reduces their risk of getting infected and getting sick.

2. Is the vaccine safe for children?

The vaccine is safe for children. Each vaccine is approved for use only after it has successfully passed safety and efficacy tests. Millions of children over the age of 12 have been vaccinated worldwide today. The reported side effects are mostly local or general symptoms like fever and weakness with lower incidence and intensity than in adults. Myocarditis is a rare phenomenon that occurs mainly in adolescents and young men, and to a mild degree. Among boys aged 15-12, the data in Israel indicate an incidence of one in 18,000 vaccinated. Among girls of all ages the phenomenon is much rarer. It is important to note that the risk of developing such inflammation is much higher as a result of the disease itself than from the vaccine.

In Israel, hundreds of children aged 5-11 have been vaccinated so far, for whom the vaccine has been exceptionally approved because they belong to a risk group. In Meuhedet, about 50 children were vaccinated in this age range, when every child who was vaccinated was monitored and no abnormal side effects were observed.

3. What are the risks to children with corona disease?

In most children the symptoms are mild, some are asymptomatic, some develop fever, headache, abdominal pain or cough. In a small number of cases the disease can be more severe with significant pulmonary involvement and even reach hospitalization. Beyond that there are also long-term complications like LONG COVID.

4. Can the vaccine affect fertility problems in the future?

Extensive epidemiological studies for decades have shown that the side effects of vaccines appear within a few weeks at most after the vaccine and most pass within a few days. Even extremely rare effects attributed to vaccines, when it comes to the number of cases per million vaccine doses, have appeared within a time span of weeks from the vaccine. There are no known side effects from vaccines that appear in longer distances.

For use in MRNA technology At least three years of experience has been gained in clinical trials for infectious disease vaccines and cancer treatment. Also, there is more than a year of follow-up on participants in the clinical trial of corona vaccines. No association was found with fertility problems. Moreover, there are many women who were vaccinated during this period and became pregnant afterwards. It is important to remember that although the epidemic accelerated the vaccination approval process, the The FDA has not waived any of the safety steps, and the process that is shortened is the bureaucratic procedure only, out of necessity and urgency of the matter.

5. Is there a risk of developing myocarditis as a result of the vaccine?

To date, a few dozen cases of myocarditis have been reported in Israel after the second dose of vaccine was given. Most of the cases were mild cases. Studies have found that the risk of developing myocarditis is significantly higher following corona disease than after receiving the vaccine.

6. Infection among children is lower and less dangerous, why should children still be vaccinated?

Especially now, when morbidity is relatively low, we have the opportunity to significantly reduce the volume of the next wave and reach it more immunized, thus preventing widespread infection and mortality of at-risk populations.

Opportunity to be ready for the next wave | Photo: Oliver Fitoussi, Flash 90

7. Can certain allergic reactions or side effects develop as a result of the vaccine?

Most side effects are mild and manifest as redness, weakness and fever, a day or two after vaccination. These effects are more common after the second dose. No side effects known to us from other vaccines were observed.

8. Will children be vaccinated in a second dose as well? And how soon will the green mark be received from the date of receipt of the vaccine?

Similar to the vaccines for adults and adolescents, the vaccine for children will be given in 2 doses, the dose will be lower and will be one third of the dose that an adult receives. The green mark will be received after 14 days from the moment of vaccination and there is no change from the guidelines for age groups that have already been vaccinated.

9. What happens to children who have become ill? Do they need to be vaccinated, and if so how long from the date of recovery?

Similar to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for adults, children can be vaccinated 3 months from the moment the disease recovers.

10. Were there any exceptional cases of side effects in children around the world? (In countries that already store children)?

Since receiving the permit, more than 150,000 children under the age of 12 have been vaccinated in the United States. To date, no abnormal side effects have been observed. 50 children in this age range, when every child who was vaccinated was monitored and no abnormal side effects were observed.

11. Why are vaccinations needed for children now, even though the 4th wave is behind us?

The corona is still there and the sky is open, later new variants may arrive in Israel and the morbidity may increase, the goal of all of us is that in the next wave the small children will also be vaccinated.

12. What are the common side effects after vaccination?

The reported side effects are mostly local or general symptoms like fever and weakness with lower incidence and intensity than in adults.

By Editor

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