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  • COVID-19 Vaccination For Kids Aged 5-11 Set In February: What Parents Need To Know

    13.5 million children aged 5 to 11 are expected to be inoculated with the reformulated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
    by Angela Baylon .
COVID-19 Vaccination For Kids Aged 5-11 Set In February: What Parents Need To Know
PHOTO BY shutterstock
  • Philippines is set to expand its COVID-19 pediatric vaccination program to include children aged 5 to 11 starting this February 2022.

    The initial rollout of vaccination for the younger kids was moved from February 4, 2022 to February 7, 2022, the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) announced.

    Galvez said the February rollout would begin in Metro Manila before expanding to other regions in the country. According to reportr, the government expects to inoculate some 13.5 million children aged 5 to 11.

    Should kids get COVID-19 vaccine?

    If you have a child between the ages of 5 and 11, here's a rundown of information we know about COVID-19 vaccines for this age group.

    Is it safe to give COVID-19 vaccine to children?

    U.S. has started giving COVID-19 vaccines to children over five years old as early as November 2021. Some European countries also began to inoculate the younger population in December 2021. Meanwhile, Japan recently approved Pfizer to be given to kids aged 5 to 11 and expects rollout by March.


    In the Philippines, health and vaccine experts have ruled that research and trials proved that the FDA-approved vaccine is safe and effective when used to prevent COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11. (Read more here)

    In a DOH press briefing, Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, president of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines, cited data from U.S. Safety Surveillance Data (Nov. to Dec. 2021).

    It showed that the most common serious events were fever and vomiting. There were also reports of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscles, but only at 11 cases out of eight million doses administered.

    In her presentation, Bunyi reiterated that "each vaccine has its expected side reaction that does not automatically translate to a reduced efficacy or safety signal."

    She adds, "there may be very rare adverse events that may be associated with vaccines but we always weigh the benefits of giving it over the risk of getting down with disease and its complications, which the vaccine can prevent."  

    Is the vaccine dose for children ages 5 to 11 different than older population?

    Yes. Kids ages 5 to 11 will get a reformulated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Only Pfizer brand will be given to this age group. The younger population will also receive a lower dose of the vaccine.

    "The 12 to 15 year old received the same adult dose at 30 micrograms and given as 0.3ml. For the five to 11-year-old, the dose was one-third of that adult does, which is ten micrograms given at 0.2ml," Bunyi explained.

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    Bunyi adds vials for the reformulated vaccine will have an orange cap.

    What are the benefits of COVID-19 vaccine to kids?

    Bunyi says there are both direct and indirect benefits of giving kids COVID-19 vaccine.
    Direct benefit would be to protect kids against severe COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and severe or long-term complications.

    Indirect benefits include reduced likelihood of transmission and "partially protecting further disruption of classes and providing safer in-house learning."

    Bunyi emphasized the importance of that the vaccine is a "strong arsenal in navigating this pandemic." 

    My child has underlying health conditions. Can he receive COVID-19 vaccine?

    Bunyi says, same with the 12 to 17 age groups, it is recommended for children with co-morbidities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To know more about this read the DOH guidelines here.

    In an interview with ANC's Rundown, Dr. Yen Reyes of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of the Philippines still urges parents of kids with co-morbidities to bring their child's medical certificates to assess their condition.

    Can my child get the COVID-19 vaccine with the flu shot?

    As a precaution, Bunyi does not suggest giving kids the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot simultaneously. A two-week interval between administering the two vaccines is recommended.

    She explains, "Kung ang pag-uusapan ay prinsipyo ng vaccinology, actually, pwede mong pagsabayin. Kaya lang dahil nagbibigay tayo ng bagong bakuna, at gusto nating mas mag-ingat sa mga reactions, binibigyan namin ng dalawang linggong pagitan, yung dalawnag bakuna."

    Can I give paracetamol to my child in case they experience fever after the vaccination?


    YES. Bunyi says parents can give their child paracetamol in case of fever, chills, and headache post vaccination.

    Parents, however, are advised to follow the recommended dosage of paracetamol to prevent cases of overdose. (Read related story on paracetamol overdose here)

    Do kids need to get booster shots?

    Bunyi answered, "Doon sa five to 11 years old, dahil magsisimula pa lang naman tayo, bakunahan muna natin and then tsaka natin suriin kung gaano tatagal ang ibibigay na proteksyon nung bakuna sa mga bata."

    My child has allergies. Is it safe to give him COVID-19 vaccine?

    Bunyi says, YES, as long as the child is not allergic to the ingredients of the Pfizer vaccine. She advises parents to stay in the vaccination site longer so healthcare workers can immediately administer proper medication.

    Can playgrounds be used as vaccination sites for children?

    Bunyi says aside from a spacious environment where basic health protocols can be followed, the vaccination site should also offer entertainment or engaging activity for kids.

    Bunyi calls on parents to get their children vaccinated against the COVID-19.

    "Ang mga bakunang binibigay ng ating pamahalaan ay nagdaan ng masusing pag-aaral 'yan. Hindi naman magbibigay ang pamahalaan ng bakunang hindi ligtas at mabisa para sa mga batang ito," she says.

    She adds, "Kung ang hinahangad nila ay ma-protektahan ang kanilang anak laban dito sa sakit na ito, then maiging mapabakunahan sila [mga bata]."

    In the end, Bunyi says vaccination is key in getting children back in schools and promoting social activities, which is vital in their development.

    Watch the full press briefing on COVID-19 vaccine and kids here:

    This article was updated on February 4, 2022 at 5:20 p.m.

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