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Students and teachers should return to face-to-face classes with their vaccination schedule against the COVID-19 complete, as a mandatory requirement, according to the results of a recent national survey by El Comercio-Ipsos.
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For 74% of those surveyed, the requirement of two doses of vaccines in students so that they can return to school classes, while 24% consider the opposite.
Similarly, 86% believe that having the scheme of vaccination It should be mandatory for teachers before the start of the 2022 school year. Only 13% consider that there should be no obligation in this regard. These figures reveal a concern about going back to school and that attendance does not become a focus of outbreaks of contagion from COVID-19.
The Minister of Education, Rosendo Serna, recalled that about 95% of teachers have already completed the application of two doses of vaccine against him COVID-19, and that progress is being made in placing the booster dose.
He stressed that the vaccination of minors is voluntary, but that it is also the decision of the parents, since they are the ones who give consent for the application of the doses.
As planned, face-to-face classes should resume in March. As we get closer, a series of doubts keep coming to the writing of Trade related to the vaccination process in children between 5 and 11 years of age. Here we answer the most frequent.
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1. Why should children be vaccinated?
According to the Ministry of Health (Minsa), the vaccine is effective in protecting minors from COVID-19, since due to the omicron variant it has been detected that infections in this age group have risen. Although the number of children and adolescents hospitalized for COVID-19 is low, the same is not true for infections. Figures from the National Center for Epidemiology, Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) indicate that, after having an average of about 500 confirmed cases in children and adolescents, the figure rose to exceed 2,000 in the last weeks of 2021. According to the Minsa, until January 6, 2022, a total of 829 Peruvians under the age of 12 died from COVID-19.
2. If most children with COVID-19 have mild illness, why vaccinate them?
Because with another age group vaccinated The global advance of SARS-CoV-2 and the appearance of new variants are slowing down. In addition, although it is not very common, the appearance of a pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (inflammation of organs and tissues) has been identified as a serious and severe effect due to COVID-19. In most cases where it occurs, they improve over time thanks to medical attention. But in some, especially if there are comorbidities, it can get worse and even put their lives at risk. In Peru, 76 cases have been reported so far, of which 16 were confirmed and treated in a timely manner.
3. So why is vaccination not mandatory?
For the Minsa, it will not be mandatory for schoolchildren to be vaccinated to return to face-to-face classes, but considers vaccination “absolutely” recommended for a safe return to the classroom. However, Minister Hernando Cevallos indicated that this position could be modified depending on how the third wave of infections develops in this pandemic.
4. How effective is the vaccine in children?
The vaccine Pfizer has data from phase III clinical trials and is endorsed by the FDA, the European Medicines Agency, Health Canada, among other health entities. In December, it received emergency authorization from the General Directorate of Medicines, Supplies and Drugs (Digemid).
In the phase II-III clinical trial, which was published in the “New England Journal of Medicine”, 2,285 children between the ages of 5 and 11 were included in 81 research centers in the US, Spain, Finland and Poland. . A total of 1,517 received the Pfizer vaccine, and 751 received a placebo, a harmless substance, to determine the effect of the vaccine in a vaccinated and an unimmunized group. The result was an efficacy of 90.7% for symptomatic disease.
5. What adverse reactions can occur?
The Minsa reminds us that for many years vaccine children to combat and eradicate different diseases. “Vaccines are generally safe. The one that will be used in Peru for the COVID-19 It’s safe too.”, stressed Dr. César Munayco, executive director of Public Health Surveillance of the CDC, during a Minsa broadcast.
The most serious adverse reaction is anaphylaxis (extreme allergic reaction that occurs within minutes of exposure to the allergen), which could present after 15 or 20 minutes after receiving the vaccine. “That is why there is an area for those vaccinated to wait preventively and, in addition, in the vaccination centers there is always a doctor to handle these issues. But for a case of anaphylaxis to occur, the patient must be allergic to one of the components of the vaccine.”, he clarified. That is why it is important, at the time of the pre-vaccination interview, to inform the health personnel about any allergy or discomfort that the minor suffers, as well as the details of any medication that they take regularly.
The specialist points out that the most common reactions related to the application of the vaccine against him COVID-19 they are redness, swelling and/or pain in the area where the injection was given. In other less frequent cases, fatigue, fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, etc. occur. These are reactions similar to those seen in the use of other vaccines.
6. Will children receive the same vaccines as adults?
The vaccine used for children from 5 to 11 years will be the Comirnaty of 10 micrograms per dose, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech against COVID-19. “It is a pediatric vaccine, with a lower concentration than regular doses,” Gabriela Jiménez, director of Immunizations at Minsa, told Andina. Children will also require two applications, with 21 days between each dose received.
7. Why does this vaccine have another name?
In the US, when the product receives FDA approval, the manufacturer can already use a trade name for use in that country. The vaccine remains the same in ingredients and formulation. In the case of Pfizer, its name is Comirnaty. The change in the pediatric version has to do with the dose. For children between 5 and 11 years old, 10 micrograms are used, compared to 30 micrograms in the regular presentation.
8. How safe is it for children with asthma or epilepsy?
Munayco stressed that Pfizer’s Comirnaty is safe, and that it is precisely children with asthma, epilepsy and other chronic diseases who should be vaccinated “Because they are the ones who have the highest risk of developing severe conditions, being hospitalized and even dying. Almost all children who have been complicated or who have died is because they have had some chronic disease.
9. If a child had mild COVID-19, should they be vaccinated?
According to the Minsa, it is necessary to vaccine. They explain that the organism generates immunity by infection and by vaccines. In the first case, if it is a mild condition, the protection is lower compared to that of someone who applied the two vaccines. The recommendation is that they receive the vaccine between 15 or 20 days after being discharged or overcome the disease, no longer symptoms.
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10. How has the vaccination experience been in this age range in other countries?
Several countries are vaccinating against COVID-19 to those under 12 years of age. Israel was one of the first. China has even vaccinated children from the age of 3 and up. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended its use, which is why several countries in the bloc have begun to vaccinate children. The United Arab Emirates, Cuba, the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Cambodia, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, El Salvador and Costa Rica have also started vaccinating children.
The Chilean Ministry of Health reports that, as of January 14, it has already applied 410,656 doses to children between 3 and 5 years old, and 2,550,689 doses to children between 6 and 11 years old. 71.3% of the population between 3 and 17 years old have already received their two doses. Chile vaccine children from 3 years of age with Sinovac and those of 5 years and older also with Pfizer
In Colombia, as of January 9, 3,235,239 children (45%) 3 to 11 years old have received the first dose against COVID-19 and 1,224,223 (17.2%) have already completed their vaccination schedule.
In Ecuador, the Ministry of Public Health reported that 53.69% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 and 71.16% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 have received their complete vaccination schedule against COVID-19. The first group receives Sinovac’s vaccines, while the second receives Pfizer’s. They plan to start the vaccination of 3-year-old children from February.
Brazil also began yesterday, in the state of Sao Paulo, the national vaccination campaign against COVID-19 for children between 5 and 11 years old. They plan to vaccinate 20.5 million children, using Pfizer’s two pediatric doses and with parental consent.
In Argentina, vaccination with Sinopharm for children between 3 and 11 years of age has been authorized since the fortnight of October 2021. Until January 7, only 43% of this age group had the complete vaccination schedule. Teenagers ages 12 to 17 get doses of Pfizer and Moderna.
Uruguay planned to start its vaccination this week, starting with minors with Down syndrome and comorbidities. Costa Rica began vaccinating children under 12 years of age this week and they hope to conclude that process in the first half of the year.