Children and Covid-19 Vaccines


Children playing copyright Unsplash
Children playing

For most children and young people COVID-19 is usually a mild illness, rarely leading to complications. Therefore, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) initially did not recommend vaccination for children. However, following a government request to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on education, they now advise the following:


16, 17 and 18 year olds +

Can book their appointments online or call 119, or go to one of the walk-in clinics. Hackney offers these at John Scott Health Centre, St Leonard's Hospital, and 3a Bocking Street. Government advice on when to get the second vaccine dose will come later.


Vaccine go ahead for 12-15 year olds

  • Universal vaccination of children and young people aged 12 to 15 has now been recommended by the The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).vEvery child in this age group in the UK is now being offered only a single vaccination dose.

  • Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus have been offered the vaccine.

  • Those at risk are being offered a second dose.

  • The rollout has started in England, Scotland and Wales, and in Northern Ireland the vaccinations are expected to be offered from October.


Where to get vaccines

  • In Scotland, as well as being invited to book an appointment at a clinic, 12 to 15-year-olds can get vaccinated at drop-in centres.

  • In England and Northern Ireland, the programme is based in schools.

  • In Wales, vaccination centres are being used.


Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines may cause side effects. Most are mild and short term, and not everyone gets them. Very common side effects include:

  • Having a pain in the arm where you had your injection which maybe worse around 1 to 2 days after the vaccine

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • General aches, or mild flu like symptoms

Recently, cases of inflammation of the heart (called myocarditis or pericarditis) have been reported very rarely after COVID-19 vaccines. Most of these cases have been in younger men.


You should seek medical advice urgently if you experience:

  • chest pain

  • shortness of breath

  • feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart

Independent Sage report that there is a 37 times higher rate of myocarditis with covid, than with the vaccine.


The view from Independent Sage

Independent Sage is an alternative group that was set up to provide advice on Covd-19. In their September 17th briefing, they discussed the vaccines and children. They report that globally, 14 million children have been vaccinated with two doses of vaccine. Their guest speaker, Dr Deepti Gurdasani, Clinical Epidemiologist and Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary's, University of London recently noted that one vaccine dose is uncommon. There is significant evidence that immunity wanes over time, with no evidence that one dose offers adequate protection.


Independent Sage note that JCVI did not consider the devastating effects of long covid, nor did they consider ethnicity nor poverty/class with regards to children. Dr Zubiada Haque notes that BAME young are much more likely to be under 18. 50% mixed race people are under 18, 1/3 of Black people are under 18, and 1/4 of Asians are under 18. Therefore they are less likely to have the vaccination (as it has only just been rolled out in schools).


Covid causes multiple organ damage, in areas such as kidney, brain, lung, heart function. They believe that this is also likely to happen in children but not enough research has been done about it. At the height of the pandemic, they report that around 300 children were hospitalised every week in the UK.


They also point to immunisations in Israel where the age limit has been lowered to 5 years because cases have risen so dramatically. They advocate a second dose for children of secondary school age.


Covid vaccination leaflets

PHE leaflets on vaccinations for children and young people are now available in English via the links below.


COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for eligible children and young people

This leaflet is for eligible children and young people or their parents and carers prior to the vaccination appointment


COVID-19 vaccination for at-risk children and young people aged 12 to 15 years (simple

text)

This leaflet is for at-risk children and young people or their parents and carers prior to the vaccination appointment.


What to expect after their COVID-19 vaccination Information for children and young

people

This leaflet is for healthcare practitioners to give to children, young people or their parents and carers after their vaccination. It provides information on what to expect after vaccination.


兒童與新冠疫苗

對大數兒童及青少年而言,他們即使感染了病毒,他們的徵狀和病情一般都不會嚴重或複雜。因此,防疫聯合委員會(Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI))當初並沒有建議為孩童接種新冠疫苗。最近,由於政府着手研究新冠對孩童的影響,聯委會便作出了以下建議:

16, 17及18 歲以上的青年人

可到網上或致電119或到不需預約疫苗中心安排接種疫苗。在克尼區不需預約的疫苗中心有John Scott 保健中心,St Leonards 醫院及3a Bocking Street中心。政府會稍後宣佈何時接種第二劑疫苗。

12至15歲的孩童疫苗注射

  • 聯委會建議為這個年齡組別的孩童只接種一劑的疫苗。

  • 在這個年齡組別內感染新冠病毒風險高的孩童或與高危人士同住的孩童都會被邀請接種兩劑的疫苗。

  • 為孩童接種疫苗的計劃已在英格蘭展開。蘇格蘭,威爾斯及北愛爾蘭亦會在十月開展同樣計劃。

副作用

如所有藥物一樣,疫苗或會引致一些副作用,一般都會是輕微及短暫的。常見的副作用有:

  • 針口在注射一、兩天中會感到疼痛

  • 疲倦

  • 頭痛

  • 一般的疼痛或如輕微感冒的徵狀

最近有報告接種疫苗後出現心臟發炎 (心肌炎或心包炎) 的罕見案例,這些案件多發生在年青男性身上,若你出現以下情況,你應馬上尋求醫生的意見:

  • 胸口痛

  • 呼吸急速

  • 感覺心臟快速跳動或顫動

Independent Sage的意見

Independent Sage是一個獨立的組織,提供有關新冠病毒的獨立報告。他們指出新冠病毒引發心肌炎的可能性較疫苗的高出近四成之多。根據他們在9月17日的簡報中指出,全球已有14百萬的孩童接種了兩劑的疫苗。該日的邀請嘉賓講者Deepti Gurdasani醫生,倫敦瑪麗皇后學院高級講師及臨床流行病學家,留意到一劑疫苗是一個離群值,有很多數據顯示疫苗效力會因時間而減弱,亦沒有數據顯示一劑疫苗已能提供足夠的保障。.


Independent Sage留意到聯委會沒有考慮到長冠狀病毒 (longCOVID) 的嚴重影響,及孩童的種族、貧窮及階級背境。Zubiada Haque醫生指出混血兒中有半數人;黑人族裔有三分之一及亞洲族裔有四分之一的人口是18歲以下。這表示少數民族的孩童會有更大機會感染病毒。


冠狀病毒能導致多個身體器官,如腎、腦、肺及心臟功能損傷。他們相這也可發生在孩童身上但現時還未有這方面的研究。據報告稱,在病毒最高峰時,每星期有大約300個孩童因冠狀病毒而需入院。


他們又引述以色列的防疫計劃,該國由於個案的增長而將疫苗注射年齡降至5歲。他們也

建議為中學生接種第二劑疫苗。