Pfizer vaccines for children arrive
The first batch of orange-cap Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5-11 years was delivered to Thailand on Wednesday morning, Department of Disease Control director-general Dr Opas Karnkawinpong said on Thursday.
He said the department would dispatch vaccine-related documents to the Department of Medical Sciences for a check before distributing the doses nationwide.
He explained that each bottle of Pfizer vaccine can be administered to ten children, adding that the vaccine must be kept at a temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius for ten weeks.
“From January 31, children with chronic disease can receive their jab at hospitals, while other children can get their shots at schools,” he said. “Children who are taking online classes or study outside the education system can receive their jabs at hospitals.”
Opas said the interval between the first and the second jabs for children aged 5-11 years is 3-12 weeks depending on efficiency, safety and the Covid-19 situation.
He said Thailand is the second Asian country after Singapore to receive Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5-11.
“The side effects found after administering the vaccine were mild symptoms that could be cured in 1-2 days, such as fever, cold, fatigue or pain where the jab was given, so medical staff will monitor children’s symptoms for 30 minutes after they receive the vaccine,” Opas said.
“According to global data, side effects in young children are less than in older children due to the lower dosage,” he said.
Opas also said children aged 12-18 will receive the purple-cap Pfizer vaccine similar to adults.
Meanwhile, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health director Dr Adisai Pattatang said there were about 900,000 children with chronic diseases, while parents must give permission for their children to receive the jab.
He said medical staff would delay the vaccination of the young ones who have fever, fatigue and unstable symptoms.
He advised parents to prevent their children from playing or carrying out strenuous exercise after receiving the jab.
Adisai went on to say that he was concerned about heart muscle inflammation as US data showed that eight children got it after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
“We would like to advise any children who feel chest pain, breathe rapidly or tire easily 2-7 days after the vaccination to see a doctor immediately,” he said.
“Meanwhile, parents should take their children to hospital immediately if they have fever, headache, vomiting, are unable to eat or are unconscious,” he cautioned.
He added that general hospitals that are unable to treat children should send them to medical centres, child health institutes or university hospitals for diagnosis and treatment.