COVID-19 vaccinations have been approved by the Malaysian government for children between 5 and 11 years old. The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme for Children, (PICKids), will be available in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and the rest of Malaysia starting February 3. Here are the facts:
Clinical trials have shown that the vaccine raises the immunity to COVID-19 by 90.7%. The MOH has updated the data regarding vaccinations for children. It shows that an 8-week wait between doses is the best time to raise the immune response. However, it may protect for a longer time.
Who should it be?
MOH recommends that children who have underlying medical conditions and are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 should be given the vaccine first.
Even if there are no medical conditions, children should still be vaccinated. They are still at high risk for severe COVID-19 even though the risk is lower. Clinical studies have shown that this vaccine is 90.7% effective in raising immunity to COVID-19. According to the MOH, the latest data on vaccinations for children shows that a wait time of 8 weeks between doses is the most effective at raising the body’s immune response and may provide protection for a longer period of time.
Who is eligible?
All children between 5 and 11 years old, Malaysians or not, are eligible for vaccinations, even refugees and the homeless. It is important to give informed consent when you are getting vaccines for your child and yourself. You can get your information from reliable sources like the MOH and JKJAV websites, or speak to your doctor. While children are less likely than adults to get COVID-19 or to display symptoms when they are sick, there still may be serious outcomes such as hospitalization, a severe secondary infection, or long COVID. Before the teenagers receive their vaccination, parents and caregivers must sign an informed consent form.
What are the side effects of these medications?
Side effects for adolescents are similar to those for adults 12 years and older: mild fever, headaches, and lethargy. These are the most common side effects.
- The shot may cause pain or swelling.
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A decreased appetite
You may hear your child complain about feeling like they have a cold. This is normal. As directed by your doctor, you can treat the symptoms with an oral analgesic (paracetamol and ibuprofen). Contact your doctor immediately if side effects persist or become severe.
The MOH doesn’t recommend giving your child pain relievers or oral analgesics before vaccination. These medications should be used only after vaccination to manage fever or pain.
What about allergies?
Be cautious if your child has ever had anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction to drugs, food, or other triggers). Discuss with your doctor whether they should be vaccinated. Your child may complain that they ‘feel like they’re getting a cold’. This is normal. Treat symptoms with oral analgesics (paracetamol or ibuprofen) as recommended by your doctor. If the side effects persist and are severe, contact your doctor immediately.
The MOH does not recommend that you give your child oral analgesics or pain relievers (such as paracetamol or ibuprofen) before the vaccination. They should only be taken after the vaccination for the management of pain or fever.
Making vaccine decisions for children
It is important to give informed consent when you are getting vaccines for your child and yourself. You can get your information from reliable sources like the MOH and JKJAV websites, or speak to your doctor. Before the teenagers receive their vaccination, parents and caregivers must sign an informed consent form.
Parents and guardians want the best for their children. When you think about vaccines for your child, consider the following:
Informed consent is very important when getting vaccines for yourself and your children. Get your information from trusted sources such as the MOH or JKJAV websites or consult your doctor. Parents and caregivers will also be required to sign the informed consent form on behalf of the adolescents before they receive their vaccine.
The impact of your child receiving COVID-19
Children are less likely to contract COVID-19 than adults, and they may still show symptoms when they’re sick.
While children are less likely than adults to get COVID-19 or to display symptoms when they are sick, there still may be serious outcomes such as hospitalization, a severe secondary infection, or long COVID.
However, serious outcomes can still occur such as hospitalization, severe secondary infections, or long-term COVID.
The number of children suffering from COVID-19 is on the rise because they are the largest group in Malaysia that has not been vaccinated.
Right now, the number of children with COVID-19 is surging because children are the largest group of people in Malaysia who have not had access to vaccinations until now. As schools open and group activities become more common, the risk of getting infected also increases.
The risk of contracting the disease increases as schools and group activities increase in frequency.