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COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids: What Parents Need to Know

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

COVID-19 vaccinations for kids began rolling out last February 7, 2022, in at least 32 sites across the Philippines. With this, many parents understandably want more information on what to expect and prepare before their children get inoculated.

Here are some of the important details you need to know before you get your child vaccinated against COVID-19.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for kids?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children 5 and up should get vaccinated against COVID-19. All COVID-19 vaccines have undergone rigorous testing and trials to ensure their safety and efficacy.

Why should my child get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Since the COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11 years has undergone thorough evaluations by both the U.S. FDA and CDC, the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh any potential risk or temporary side effects from getting inoculated.

  • It will protect your child from getting a severe illness from COVID-19.

  • It will help stop any further mutations or variants of COVID-19 from emerging.

  • It will give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t pass on the virus to your children in case you get sick with COVID-19.

What is the difference between the vaccine for kids and adults?

To date, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use on minors aged 5 and up. This is the only brand currently used for pediatric vaccinations in the Philippines.

For those in the 5-11 age bracket, they will receive an even lower dose and concentration than the vaccines prepared for those aged 12-17 years old. The lids of the vaccine bottles are color-coded to ensure that they are administered the correct dosage. Research shows that this vaccine is 91% effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization brought about by COVID-19.

Vaccinations for children aged 12-17 have been ongoing since October 2021. They are receiving a lower dosage and concentration of the vaccine in comparison to adults. As of December 2021, 2.1 million children in this age bracket have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Will the vaccine have side effects?

Generally, yes. The side effects your child will experience will be similar to the mild side effects experienced by adults: pain or discomfort in the vaccination site, fatigue, and possibly fever and chills. It’s important to note that these are temporary and will usually subside within 48 hours of receiving their jab. In the event that the side effects do not subside or worsen after a few days, consult a pediatrician to alleviate their condition.

Can the vaccine give my child COVID-19?

No. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t contain or use the live virus that causes COVID-19.

Can I accompany my child during the vaccination?

Yes, definitely! All children are required to be accompanied by their parents during the inoculation.

What are the requirements for pediatric vaccination?

On Saturday, January 29, 2022, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje released the following list of requirements for parents who want to get their children vaccinated:

  • Prior schedule with your LGU

  • Proof of relationship (ex. birth certificate)

  • Valid ID of child, with picture

  • Valid ID of parent or guardian, with picture

  • Medical certificate, if with comorbidities

  • Well-fitted face mask and face shield

  • Writing materials (ex. pen)

  • Alcohol, fan, water, as necessary

According to Cabotaje, kids in this age group with comorbidities will not be prioritized. That means regardless of whether your child is immunocompromised or not, you can get a vaccine schedule right away.

Give Your Child the Best Protection

Getting your child vaccinated is the best way to protect them from severe illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. The faster our children get their jabs, the sooner we see an end to the pandemic. If you have further questions or concerns for your child, especially if they have pre-existing conditions, you may consult with a licensed pediatrician on the Doctor Anywhere app to get medical advice and clearance for their vaccine.

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