HÀ NỘI — As Việt Nam is set to start COVID-19 vaccinations for children from 5 to 11 years old, health officials are calling on parents to prepare for their children’s vaccination.
Doctor Lê Kiến Ngãi from the National Children’s Hospital said three groups of children should be cautiously and carefully screened and vaccinated at hospitals from the district level upwards.
The first group includes children with congenital chronic diseases or those found to have heart and lung abnormalities, or those who had had an anaphylactic reaction to any previous allergen.
The second group includes children with a history of allergies and children with perceptual disturbances, psychopathic syndromes, hyperactivity, and reduced attention.
The third group includes children with a history of anaphylaxis.
Ngãi said that vaccination facilities must carefully study the vaccine’s components according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
If a child has a history of anaphylaxis to any vaccine component, the child must be classified as contraindicated for injection, he said.
Moreover, children with acute illnesses, advanced chronic diseases or other problems should have the vaccination postponed.
Children with fever or bacterial infection being treated for a chronic disease such as chemotherapy for cancer, must delay vaccination until they end the acute condition or finish the treatment of the chronic disease, Ngãi said.
For children with multi-organ inflammatory syndrome – a condition in which various body parts become inflamed – doctors recommend a vaccination delay until the patient has fully recovered.
“If a child has multi-organ inflammation after having COVID-19, they must be examined and monitored at a medical facility to ensure they no longer have clinical symptoms,” Ngãi said.
Children infected with COVID-19 can be vaccinated and be injected with the same basic doses of the same vaccine after recovering from the disease for at least three months.
To help children feel more comfortable before, during and after the vaccination, it is recommended that parents talk to their children about the importance of getting vaccinated.
Before the injection, parents should also give their children enough food to avoid hunger and thirst.
Children do not need to delay vaccination schedules with other vaccines and, at the same time, do not stop the medicines they are taking.
Parents should prepare all the necessary documents required by the vaccination site, particularly the child’s immunisation record.
After vaccination, children need to stay at the vaccination site for at least 30 minutes to monitor, detect, and promptly handle serious reactions.
Families need to continuously monitor their health within 28 days after vaccination, especially the first 48 hours.
For at least three days after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, children need a caregiver to be with.
They should not drink stimulants in the first three days after vaccination.
If significant swelling, redness, pain, or small lumps at the injection site is found, children must be taken to the doctor immediately and should not cover the swelling.
Vaccinated children need their body temperatures to be measured regularly.
If they have a fever with a body temperature of 38.5 degrees Celsius or higher, they should take antipyretic drugs as directed by medical staff.
If the fever does not stop or returns within two hours, it is necessary to immediately notify medical staff and go to the nearest medical facility.
Vaccinated children must be taken to the hospital if they have symptoms like numbness around the lips or tongue in the mouth; a rash/red/purple skin or bleeding, bleeding under the skin; itching, tightness in the throat, throat tightness, or difficulty speaking.
Other serious symptoms include persistent or severe headache, lethargy, drowsiness, confusion, coma, convulsions, chest pain, palpitations, fainting, vomiting, abdominal cramps or diarrhoea.
Doctor Nguyễn Hữu Châu from Huế Medical University said that before their children’s vaccination, parents or caregivers should prepare for screening questions such as: Does the child have allergies? Has the child had myocarditis or pericarditis? Does the child have a fever? Does the child have a blood clotting disorder? Is the child immunocompromised or taking a medication that affects the immune system? Has the child been vaccinated with another vaccine? Has the child ever fainted after an injection?
Once medical staff having been provided with exact information about the child’s immunisation history, allergy history with specific symptoms and treatments, underlying medical conditions and medications, the doctor can make appropriate decisions about contraindications, transfer or caution needed when administering the vaccine, Châu said.
Speaking at the Government’s regular press meeting on April 4, Deputy Minister of Health Đỗ Xuân Tuyên said the Government had issued a resolution on buying 21.9 million vaccine doses. While it was discussing the purchase with Pfizer, some countries and organisations expressed their willingness to donate vaccines for children.
On April 3, the ministry had meetings with the Australian Embassy and Pfizer, who agreed to deliver vaccines to the country as soon as possible. Pfizer and Moderna are the authorised vaccines for children.
He said a recent survey by the ministry’s Health Strategy and Policy Institute showed that 60 to 80 per cent of parents agreed on the vaccination for children aged 5 – 11. The ministry has devised a communication plan and organised training so that child vaccination can be carried out as soon as the vaccines are available.
The first batch of nearly 1 million Moderna vaccines donated by the Australia Government is expected to arrive in Việt Nam on April 9.
The vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 will start after the vaccine assessment.
The second and third batches of vaccines for children are expected to arrive in Việt Nam on April 13 and 18 respectively. — VnExpress News
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