International “Please provide updates on the trial before jabbing our kids.” — Parents...

“Please provide updates on the trial before jabbing our kids.” — Parents wary as S’pore approves Pfizer vaccine for 5-11-year-olds

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Singapore — The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has extended authorisation of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for children 5-11 years old, with inoculations scheduled to begin before 2022. However, parents have asked if this would be mandatory, among other concerns.

In a press release on Friday (Dec 10), the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that HSA had approved the Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty paediatric dose vaccine for use in children aged 5-11 years.

The Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination has reviewed the clinical data submitted to HSA and studied the information available globally pertaining to Covid-19 vaccines for use in children, said MOH.

The committee recommends we proceed to vaccinate 5-11-year-old children in Singapore using the BioNTech paediatric dose vaccine when it becomes available, MOH added.

The vaccine will be made available under the National Vaccination Programme.

MOH reiterated the importance of reducing the risk of infection and severe disease in children through vaccination.

“The incidence of Covid-19 in children has been increasing in tandem with the incidence of community cases,” said MOH.

“Although children have a low risk of severe disease, some of those infected with Covid-19 have developed life-threatening disease and severe late complications, such as MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children), and required treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU).”

Furthermore, children spend a significant amount of time in communal settings such as schools, where the transmission can spread quickly as they interact.

“This in turn also puts family members at risk, especially elderly household members,” said MOH.

Phase 3 clinical trial results of the BioNTech paediatric dose vaccine (at 10 micrograms or one-third the adult dosage) in children aged 5-11 years have shown around a 90 per cent reduction in the risk of symptomatic infection, MOH noted.

However, as the cases of Covid-19 infection involved in the clinical trial occurred from July to August 2021, the results reflect the vaccine’s efficacy against the Delta variant only, MOH noted.

Common side effects in children who received the vaccine were generally mild to moderate, and children in this age group had fewer systemic side effects compared to persons 16-25 years of age.

Therefore, the committee assesses that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks when used in a paediatric dosage for the age group.

The vaccine will be administered at least 21 days apart, prioritising those with moderate to severe chronic medical conditions, as described in the MOH advisory on vulnerable persons.

In response to the news, parents highlighted multiple concerns regarding their children’s vaccination.

Many requested more information on the trial of the vaccine for this age group, so they could make informed decisions.

“Please provide updates on the trial before jabbing our kids,” said Facebook user Mandy Lee.

Netizen Liho Messy Ho listed out the following four questions, which others agreed to:

  • (What is the) length of studies counted in days?
  • Did you even have 500 children in this study?
  • What are long term effects i.e. future reproduction, etc.?
  • A 5-year-old can weigh 15kg, an 11-year-old 50kg. Same dosage?

Meanwhile, others shared that their children had already got infected with Covid-19 and had mild symptoms.

“Both my kids three and five had Covid. It was the mildest symptom. Five-year-old, three days low-grade fever only. Three-year-old, one day low-grade fever and half a day runny nose. That’s all! They were active during this time. They had other flu, which is of much worse symptoms! Madness to jab an experimental vaccine on a young child who is immune to the virus!” said Facebook user Seow Shin Shin, her comment garnering over 120 likes.

Parents also wondered if saying no to the initiative would result in their kids not being allowed to enter schools and if there were underlying penalties to their decision.

“Will no jab means cannot enter schools. Permanent home-based learning?” asked a parent.

“So if parents don’t let children go jab, what will be the differentiated measures? No school for them? Can faster say or wait first to see take-up rate then decide?” asked Facebook user Soh Guan Hoe.

“What’s the penalty if don’t take? Please announce now,” said another netizen. /TISG

Read related: 5 per cent in Singapore are refusing the COVID-19 vaccine

5 per cent in Singapore are refusing the COVID-19 vaccine

The post “Please provide updates on the trial before jabbing our kids.” — Parents wary as S’pore approves Pfizer vaccine for 5-11-year-olds appeared first on The Independent Singapore News – Latest Breaking News

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