PHCC urges parents to vaccinate children aged 12 to 15 years against COVID-19
As Qatar continues its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has called on parents to get their children aged 12 to 15 years vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
PHCC stressed the need to get this age group vaccinated to prevent the risk of virus spread to the rest of the family, particularly older people and those with chronic conditions or weakened immune systems.
According to PHCC, this will also aid in the reduction of virus mutation rates to new strains and help gain community immunity.
Parents, guardians and community members are asked to disregard any rumors, unofficial and false information on social media about the side effects of vaccination, emphasizing the significance of getting information from authentic sources only.
PHCC recently conducted a first-of-its-kind scientific study, which was published in the prestigious "Vaccines/MDPI" Journal, an international scientific and medical journal.
The study found that “children and adolescents are less likely to develop severe symptoms as a result of COVID-19 infection; however, there are cases in which some suffer from severe complications that may lead to death or long-term symptoms such as multi-system inflammatory syndrome.”
“Therefore, the COVID-19 vaccine is an important step towards protecting the community and limiting the transmission of the virus through children and adolescents to family members and those who are more susceptible to infection, thus reducing the chance of mutation to strains that can resist the available vaccines,” the study concludes.
Community Medicine Specialist, Dr Sarah Rashid Musa, underlined the importance of vaccination for all eligible groups, as clinical trials indicate those fully vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are less likely to develop symptoms of infection, be hospitalized or have serious complications and transmit the infection to others.
There was an overall lower mortality rate linked with the COVID-19 virus in comparison to people who are not vaccinated, she mentioned.
In terms of hesitance toward getting vaccinated, Dr Musa said the fear of side effects or mistrust and misinformation could be linked with the resistance to the vaccine in Gulf countries.
The researchers are of the view that parents require more reassurance with time, especially as the authorization of the vaccine by the FDA was released just two days leading to the start of the vaccination campaign for 12 to15-year-olds in Qatar.
With this study, researchers have suggested strengthening the role of local public health strategies to give more evidence-based updates on vaccine effectiveness and safety among children to increase vaccine confidence.
The results of this study will offer a deeper look into potential indicators of vaccine hesitancy and provide preliminary information on future COVID-19 vaccination campaigns for children and adolescents.
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