COVID-19 vaccination – Video – Common questions about children and COVID-19 vaccines

This video answers commonly asked questions about children and COVID-19 vaccines.

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Isn’t COVID-19 usually mild in children? So why do they need a vaccine?

COVID infection is mild in children in the most part and many experience no symptoms at all. But between one to two per cent of children may need admission to hospital and about one in 3,200 children can develop he more severe Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. And a smaller proportion of children may develop chronic or lingering symptoms, called long COVID.

There are also indirect benefits for vaccinating kids: reducing transmission in the community and in the household, particularly to vulnerable household members and also in the school setting. Vaccinating kids enables them to get back to their lives with the least disruption so that they can enjoy school, their social activities and their sporting activities which is really important for their mental health and well-being.

How do we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in children?

The Pfizer vaccine clinical trial in primary school aged children showed that kids develop a really robust immune response and that they had over 90 per cent protection against symptomatic infection. There were also no vaccine safety concerns with the common and expected side-effects such as a sore arm, headache, fatigue, occurring less commonly than in teenagers and young adults. There have been no vaccine safety concerns.

How do I know the COVID-19 vaccine won’t harm children in the long-term?

The COVID-19 vaccines in children undergo extensive vaccine safety monitoring. We know that there are common and expected side effects that occur in the first one to 2 days and any rarer or more serious side effects occur in the first 6 to 8 weeks after a vaccine dose. And here in Australia, we have a very robust vaccine safety surveillance system that will continue to monitor for more serious and rare side effects in that first one to 2 months after the vaccine doses, long-term, for one, 2 and more years. So we can reassure parents that we will pick up any serious but rare adverse events.

Where can I find out more reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines and children?

Reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccines for children is available on the Commonwealth and state Department of Health websites as well as through the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. There are also specific translated resources for different cultural groups, Easy Read resources and decision aids that can help parents really weigh up the risks and benefits of vaccination for their children.

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