Dosage, consent, exemptions: Covid vaccination guide for children

After AIFA’s green light for the anti-Covid vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years of age, the first administrations are expected from the second half of December. According to Corriere della Sera, between 20 and 25 December (the coordinator of the Cts Franco Locatelli had spoken of the 23). According to The print, the goal is to leave no later than the 15th. Reservations through the dedicated portals, which will work in the same way as the rest of the population has followed so far, should open in the next few hours. Alternatively, they can be done at a later time at your pediatrician. To reiterate the safety of the vaccine also for children (in Italy there are 3.7 million between 5 and 11 years old) is Bruno Dallapiccola, scientific director of the Bambin Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome: “I do not find a single reason against vaccination at this age “.

Two doses three weeks apart

The vaccine used for vaccinating children between 5 and 11 will be Pfizer’s Comirnaty. The administration of the two doses must take place three weeks apart. The dosage will be different compared to adults: 10 micrograms and not 30. Vaccinations can be booked both in the hubs already active and at the primary pediatricians and pharmacies who decide to join. In some regions, pediatric hubs are also being set up, such as at the Gaslini hospital in Genoa or at Bambin Gesù in Rome. Children must be accompanied by one of the parents.

Consent lies with the parents or guardian. “But the child must be informed”

The child, explains Dallapiccola, must “always be informed, as before any medical treatment. Your consent is not provided, which is the exclusive prerogative of the parents or guardian. But his opinion must be taken into account. The ideal would be, if he has the ability, to have him read a sheet with all the explanations, possibly made more understandable using drawings and comics, as is done in drug trials involving children of school age “. If the opinion does not coincide with that of the parents, «the pediatrician must know how to manage the child’s anxieties and concerns, reassuring him and, if necessary, inviting him to come back another time. It is a sharing not an imposition. Pediatricians know how to do it ».

Children excluded from vaccination

Children who have severe forms of asthma or allergies to the ingredients present in the medicine should be exempted from the Covid vaccination. Children who take immunomodulatory or biological drugs will instead undergo an individual evaluation before the ok to vaccination. For those who have no contraindications, the vaccine is safe and effective, Dallapiccola reiterates, who concludes: “It is logical to expect the arrival of the vaccine for the age group between 6 months and 4 years soon”.

Aifa: “91% efficacy without serious events”

Patrizia Popoli, the president of the Aifa technical-scientific commission, reassures the effectiveness of the anti-Covid protection even on the smallest. “The data we have on the vaccine for children is sufficient for this pediatric extension,” he said. The study conducted by the Italian drug agency involved 3mil children who were given a dose reduced by one third compared to that injected in adults. “The vaccine remains effective and without worrying adverse events, only local reactions, a little fever and headache,” explained Popoli. And he added: «Covid in children is not always mild, for example there is multisystem inflammatory syndrome and this can be serious. 6 out of 1,000 children end up in hospital. There is a risk ». To echo the words of Popoli also the coordinator of the Aifa crisis unit dedicated to the Covid-19 virus, Maria Paola Trotta. “The data we have on the efficacy of the vaccine on children are not few and demonstrate the efficacy of the 91%», Explained the expert. “To these data are added those included in the US pharmacovigilance database, where we started on October 29 and over 3 million children have been viewed. Here, too, no particular safety problems were highlighted ».

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