The government continues to boost vaccination escalation. In addition to adults, children aged 12–17 years were also included in the vaccine recipient group as of June 29. So, can all children get the vaccine?
ACCORDING TO Ellen Wijaya, a pediatrician at Pondok Indah Hospital, Puri Indah, West Jakarta, one of the efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 infection is to protect themselves and the community by vaccination. So far, 98 vaccines have been clinically tested on humans. A total of 32 vaccines have reached the final stage of clinical trials.
The types of vaccines that have received distribution permits in Indonesia include Pfizer-BioNTech (America and Germany), Moderna (America), Sinovac (China), Oxford-AstraZeneca (England and Sweden), and Sinopharm (China). Ellen said, the difference between each vaccine is the content. There are four categories of vaccines to be aware of. Namely, the whole virus, protein subunits, viral vectors, and nucleotide acids (RNA-DNA) that affect how each vaccine works.
So, what vaccine is best for children? According to him, vaccines that have passed the clinical trial stage or age de-escalation strategy are given first to healthy adults. Then, slowly the vaccine is given to younger children. The goal is to ensure the vaccine is safe and can induce immunity. ”If it is proven safe and increases immunity, it can be continued to the final target group. Namely, the baby group,” he explained.
There are two recommendations from the Indonesian Pediatrician Association (IDAI) regarding the provision of Covid vaccines to children and adolescents. First, start immunizing children aged 12–17 years with the CoronaVac vaccine. Meanwhile, children aged 3-11 years are still waiting for the study. Second, a dose of 3 g (0.5 ml) was administered IM in the deltoid of the upper arm, twice one month apart.
However, not all children get the green light to be vaccinated. There are several conditions that prevent children from being vaccinated. Among them, primary immune deficiency uncontrolled autoimmune disease, people with Guillain-Barre syndrome, transverse myelitis, acute demyelinating and encephalomyelitis, children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy/radiotherapy, currently receiving severe immunosuppressant/cytostatic treatment, fever, recovering from Covid less than three months, other immunizations less than a month, pregnancy, uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes, and chronic diseases or disorders.
Can’t Vaccine Covid-19, Still Obey Prokes
Before arriving in front of the vaccinator, the child will undergo strict screening. Doctor Ellen said this was to make sure the child was in good health and there were no contraindications to the administration of the vaccine.
For children who are allergic to dust or cold, if they are in good health, they are still allowed to get the Covid-19 vaccine. However, if the child has certain allergies that trigger shortness of breath, vaccination should be postponed. Cannot be forced.
Ellen explained, a child who is experiencing shortness of breath is a condition that is not optimal. Children need evaluation and treatment so they are not allowed to take vaccinations.
Parents also need to understand the difference between vaccination and immunization. Ellen explained, immunization is a process to generate immunity. Immunization is divided into two, namely active and passive. ”Active immunization contains antigens that initiate an immune response for the body’s defense against a disease (active). The immunity that is formed takes longer, but lasts longer,” he explained.
In contrast, passive immunization contains antibodies that do not initiate an immune response (passive). Immunity is formed immediately, but does not last long. Just a few weeks. In active immunization, there is a natural infection process or through vaccination.
There are several types of vaccines. Namely, live vaccines and dead vaccines. Each type of vaccine has a different content and the mechanism of formation of the immune response and response to children is not the same. ”For example, there is a child who does not have a fever after being vaccinated. But, there is also a fever. No problem, no need to worry,” he explained.
Vaccination for children aged 12–17 years is recommended twice at an interval of one month. Ellen stated, there are no guidelines for the administration of a third dose. The medical team followed the recommendations from the results of clinical trials and previous observations. According to him, with two doses of vaccine, the protection is already good.
Then, what if your child can’t get the Covid vaccine? Ellen said, there are simple things that can be done. Namely, comply with health protocols (prokes). This measure has a significant impact on preventing Covid-19 cases. Especially in family clusters.
For example, the child is already at home. Never leave the house. However, it turns out that parents still often go out because they have work to do. ”Going home, do not immediately hug the child. Wash your hands first, change clothes, clean the things you bring,” said Ellen.
Children also need to be fortified with nutritious food and vitamins. From vegetables to fruit. For additional supplements, because they are additional, do not need to be given every day.
Because you can’t go anywhere, it doesn’t mean your child can’t be active or do sports. Ellen says exercise is very important. Parents can take their children around the front of the house. Keep wearing masks and avoid crowds.
Meanwhile, Doctor Dominicus Husada SpAK assessed that fever after the vaccine was normal. Parents can give paracetamol to compress the child. Then, provide adequate water intake.
On the other hand, Faridah Hariani, 34, was worried when her baby would be vaccinated. He had consulted with three pediatricians at once to inquire about the safety of his child. ”His name is parents. This brother is afraid of needles, right,” he explained.
After the vaccine, Farida revealed, her child did not feel a fever. She had recorded many times her child’s body temperature. The highest is 36.4. The rest, his body temperature is 34-36 degrees Celsius.
Let’s go for the COVID-19 vaccine
– Give the child insight about vaccinations. Parents should not intimidate children.
– Eat a balanced diet. Especially the intake of vegetables and fruit for children.
– Take care of the child’s body so as not to be dehydrated. Make sure you have enough drinking water.
– Get enough sleep, don’t stay up late. Try to get eight hours of sleep at night.
– Don’t forget to have breakfast before leaving for vaccination.
– Prepare a double mask and hand sanitizer.
– After being vaccinated, the health protocol will still be applied. Cannot be loosened.