expert answers to parents

expert answers to parents
expert answers to parents

At the first open day for 12-16 year olds today and tomorrow in Lazio, parents’ doubts about the safety of prophylaxis with the Pfizer vaccine are still many. But experts reassure: the most common side effects are mild. While the protection, equal to about 95 per cent, will allow children to return to school safely.

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What are the reactions?

The most frequent side effect, as explained by Annamaria Staiano, president of the Italian Society of Pediatrics, is “pain in the arm at the level of the deltoid. But there are also cases of low-grade fever ». Sometimes, adds Alberto Villani, director of General Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome, a sense of exhaustion, or a little headache, can also occur. Generally there may be symptoms similar to those of an onset of a flu state. They last from 12 to 36 hours. If the pain is particularly severe, a pain reliever can be taken; if the fever exceeds 38.5 degrees you can take an antipyretic ».

What levels of efficiency and duration does it guarantee?

«The effectiveness – underlines Filippo Drago, member of the task force on Covid of the Italian Society of Pharmacology – is around 95 per cent. Recall that this vaccine is currently the most powerful, even for children. The duration of immunization, on the other hand, is not yet fully understood. There are in fact no long-term studies. It is assumed, however, that the vaccine can protect for at least a year ». Coverage is complete two weeks after the second dose. However, sufficient levels of protection are observed to counteract any infection even after the first administration.

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Which children is it not recommended for?

«Anyone can do it serenely – assures Villani – In any case, before the inoculation, as is the case for adults, the children will be subjected to some questions about their state of health. If there are very particular situations, they will be verified by the vaccinator ».

Why does Germany only recommend it to frail children?

According to the Robert Koch Institute’s Vaccination Committee, Pfizer is generally only recommended for children with previous illnesses who are at risk of developing a severe form of the infection. German experts believe that the clinical studies conducted so far and indicated by the EMA (the European drug agency) are limited, as they refer to a sample of just over a thousand children, monitored for a few months.

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Is there a risk of developing myocarditis?

“There have been reports of myocarditis in Israel and in America – recalls Staiano – but both the American and European Centers for Disease Prevention Control are conducting a detailed analysis to determine if there is a causal link. To date, it has not been proven ». In reality, Villani adds, “the number of reported cases is comparable or even lower than that of the general population. Reasonably, no direct link has been demonstrated at the moment. ‘

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Why should children also be vaccinated?

“It is true that children have less risk of becoming seriously ill with covid – specifies Roberto Giacomelli, director of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology of the Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital of Rome – but let’s not forget that they can develop a somewhat particular inflammatory syndrome. , the so-called Kawasaki-like, which can arise several weeks after the infection from Sars cov 2 and can have very serious complications ». If it is true, therefore, that children are asymptomatic in 90% of cases, we must however protect them with vaccination from the risk of this other syndrome. Parents need to rest assured that vaccination is safe. And it is necessary to reopen schools next year in total safety and thus prevent new outbreaks from developing.

Friday 11 June 2021, 21:37 – Last updated: 22:48

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