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Royal College of Paediatricians advises against vaccinating healthy children


Thailand’s Royal College of Paediatricians on Monday advised parents not to vaccinate healthy children against Covid-19 until more is known about the vaccines.

The advice was part of a five-point guideline for treatment of novel coronavirus infections among children issued by the college.

It noted that 13,806 children under 18 years old had contracted Covid-19 from April 1 to June 15, accounting for 7.8 per cent of all infections. Four of those children have died (0.03 per cent of total deaths), said the college’s statement, citing Department of Disease Control figures.

“However, data as of July 13 shows that 33,020 children have tested positive, increasing to 13.2 per cent of total infections. This points to a lack of proper prevention or control of the outbreak among children,” it added.

The only vaccine currently approved for use in children aged over 12 years is Pfizer’s mRNA jab, following endorsement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 10.

“In Thailand, Pfizer vaccine was approved by the Thai FDA for use in children over 12 on June 24. However, the vaccine is still in the process of being imported and is not yet generally available,” it said.

“Meanwhile, Sinovac vaccine has been used in China among children aged 3 to 17 and found to have boosted their immunity. However, there is still no evidence of efficacy in preventing the virus in children,” it added.

The college offered a five-point guideline for parents on vaccination and how to protect their children against Covid-19.

1. The college does not recommend giving any Covid-19 vaccine to children who are healthy until there is more evidence about vaccine efficacy in children.

2. Children who have underlying health problems such as obesity, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer and diabetes should be inoculated with a vaccine approved by the Public Health Ministry to prevent severe symptoms and deaths from Covid-19.

3. All adults who are close to such children should be vaccinated.

4. Build a habit of protecting oneself from Covid-19 among children, including wearing a face mask, washing hands regularly and maintaining social distance.

5. If they can, parents should work from home during the outbreak and limit visits from outsiders.

Published : July 20, 2021

By : THE NATION