Kids aged five-11 and vaccine hesitancy – answers to parents from lung expert - Institute for Respiratory Health

Kids aged five-11 and vaccine hesitancy – answers to parents from lung expert

Friday, December 10, 2021 | News

Associate Professor Yuben Moodley, from the Institute for Respiratory Health, has been a champion for kids getting vaccinated since the coronavirus pandemic began.

“Although most kids are unlikely to get seriously ill if they catch coronavirus, they may still be infectious, even with no symptoms,” said Associate Professor Moodley.

“The vaccine could stop them from spreading the virus to friends and family. And some children can still get sick with coronavirus, the vaccine would guard against this too.”

But he acknowledges that while many parents will be eagerly scheduling a vaccination for their child in January, others may have hesitations.

“We all want to make the right health decision for our kids. It can also be hard to filter through all the information – and misinformation – that’s been out there about coronavirus vaccines,” he said.

“But it’s important to look at the data and facts. Pfizer undertook a clinical trial, earlier this year with roughly 4,500 children aged five to 11, with two thirds receiving a lower dose of the vaccine and others received a placebo to compare outcomes for efficacy and side effects.

“The vaccine was 100 per cent effective at protecting younger chidren from severe illness. And more than three million children have been vaccinated in America with effective results.

“It is true that it’s more harmful to adults but it can cause serious illness in kids too. Both during the illness itself and in the side effects afterwards. The benefits outweigh the risks.”

Kids aged five to 11 will be given a jab with a third of the dosage given to adults. Smaller needles will be used and the second jab is required three weeks after the first.

“WA has been safe due to the lockdown but this is going to change in the New Year,” said Associate Professor Moodley.

“The pandemic is not over, Delta is still persistent and Omicron is now also a concern. Parents need to understand the urgency of the vaccination and look at the data that exists.”