Vaccinations have made humankind safer from viruses and let’s just say the human immune system is far better prepared to fight a virus – big or small. That’s exactly why you should not be listening to anti-vaxxers and provide your child with appropriate vaccinations as per their age.
In fact, a quick search on the internet will tell you about all the necessary vaccinations that a baby must get. Check the websites of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or you can rely on your paediatrician to give you a heads up on the number of shots your child will have to take.
However, kids now need another vaccination to protect themselves against COVID-19 and this one remains the top priority. Pharmaceutical companies are finally receiving approvals from governments to roll out vaccines for children with some countries beginning the process of administrating the same as well.
However, nearly all vaccinations including that for COVID-19 come with their share of criticism. And anti-vaxxers are quick to dismiss them. Call it the work of conspiracy theorists or simply trolls but there are enough and more rumours floating around the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As parents, it’s important to know about covid-19 vaccine facts as much as the myths to differentiate between the two. And to make things easier for you, here are 7 covid-19 vaccine facts and myths that you need to know about.
Go ahead and make an informed choice before getting your child that jab.
7 Covid-19 Vaccine Myths Debunked And What Real Facts Parents Need To Know
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1. COVID-19 Does Not Affect Kids
The alarming figures of the Delta variant should be enough to debunk this myth. But to be clear, kids do get affected by COVID-19. The infection can be both asymptomatic or symptomatic.
Even as kids may have a higher chance of recovery and immunity levels, your child can be a carrier of the virus and infect other children or even adults.
Imagine a scenario where the child infects their grandparents who already have comorbidities. This makes them more vulnerable than ever while putting your little one’s life at risk as well.
2. COVID-19 Doesn’t Hurt Kids
COVID-19 isn’t age-specific. It affects babies as well. Chances are high then that your little runt is as much at risk as a newborn. In the US alone, about 5,526 kids suffered COVID-linked Multisystem Inflammatory System in Children (MIS-C). This resulted in over 700 deaths and over 4,300 hospitalisations.
NPR suggests that COVID was the eighth leading cause of death in children in 2020 between the ages of 5 and 11 years. At the same time, kids have also had a higher recovery rate when they’ve tested COVID-19 positive. However, kids with underlying conditions like asthma, obesity, neurodevelopmental disorders, thalassemia, all can lower the immunity level of the child to fight the infection. In this case, the vaccination works as a booster to fight the virus.
3. There Are Long-Term Effects To The COVID-19 Vaccine
Pharma companies developed the Covid-19 vaccine in record time and it’s true that we still aren’t aware of the long-term effects of the same. However, there are also malicious rumours about the vaccine affecting children and adults. The truth is we simply don’t know if there is a long term effect and so far there have been no side effects on the early vaccine takers.
The vaccine has been tested for adults for a period of about a year and a half while the period for children stands at eight months. In comparison, vaccines would undergo a complete test cycle including human trials over a period of 4-5 years. But given the need for vaccination amidst rising variants and subsequent deaths, the vaccine arrived in record time.
Doctors too believe that chances of the vaccine showing long term effects are slim, simply given how vaccines work. John Grabenstein, director of scientific communication for the Immunization Action Coalition, while speaking to National Geographic, said, “The body breaks down the mRNA in the vaccine within days. The other ingredients break down in just a few weeks or less. Besides, side effects nearly always occur within a couple of weeks of a person being vaccinated.”
At present, the longest a Covid-19 vaccinated person has shown side effects after the shot has been six weeks. And millions of people have received two shots already and are yet to report any major complications.
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4. Covid-19 Vaccine Facts Or Myth: Kids May Get Myocarditis
Some of the parents do worry about myocarditis, which is a type of heart inflammation. A few adolescent kids developed this condition after receiving the vaccine, which has been a cause of concern for parents. However, the size of the children affected was only marginal.
One study found the myocarditis was more plausible in boys between the ages of 12 and 17 years, as opposed to girls after receiving the vaccine shot. Myocarditis though is treatable and does not develop into long term complications. No clinical trials found any serious effects of the vaccine in kids between 5-11 years.
That being said, some people did report anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction, after receiving the vaccine. This has been a rare occurrence. It’s also why hospital authorities make you wait about 30 minutes after administering the dose.
And because children get a lower dose, the COVID vaccine in kids also tends to cause less of the common short-term side effects, such as fever, fatigue, and headache.
5. The COVID Vaccine Can Cause Infertility
There is no proof so far that the Covid-19 vaccine is one gigantic way of giving people vasectomy. It’s more so the case with children. There is no proof either that the vaccine suppresses your ability to have babies.
Do not believe in theories that suggest this is a massive population control exercise.
In fact, a recent study concluded that semen volume and sperm concentration and motility increased in men after receiving a shot of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. Another study suggested that there was no dip in pregnancy rates in women who took the jab. Even pregnant women who took the vaccine did not report any complications.
6. Better To Wait It Out Than Take The Vaccine Now
Most parents think it’ll be better to take the vaccine later in hopes that the Covid-19 infection will die down on its own. However, one of the Covid-19 vaccine facts most people fail to comprehend is that the pandemic is turning into an endemic. And odds are high that we will have to learn to co-exist with the virus in some form.
In that case, you are only making your kids more vulnerable to the virus by not administering the vaccine in time.
In most cases, side effects for kids last about a day or two at the most. Moreover, there have been extremely rare incidences of serious complications. Parents need to take the leap of faith backed by science and research. And get their kids the vaccine shots.
The longer you wait, the more vulnerable is your child and your loved ones.
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7. COVID-19 Vaccine Kills
Misinformation is more popular these days than authentic news and it manages to grow on your fears. That’s the case with the Covid-19 vaccine with rumours common about people being killed due to the vaccine.
Statistically, about three people have been reported dead due to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, caused by rare blood clots. Meanwhile, there have been no reported deaths related to the vaccines made by Pfizer or Moderna. We do not claim the effectiveness of either vaccine but the number of deaths due to a shot is extremely low.
In contrast, out of the 2.9 billion reported Covid-19 cases worldwide, there have been 5.4 million deaths. The US, India, Brazil, UK and Russia witnessed the highest number of deaths due to the infection.
It’s easier for naysayers and conspiracy theorists to draw up conclusions but the numbers speak otherwise.
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