To do the best for our tamariki, it’s important to get the best information, so here are some facts about COVID-19, vaccination, and our tamariki.
Children in this age group must have a parent, caregiver or legal guardian give consent. No child aged 5 to 11 can receive a vaccine dose without expressed consent.
We’re fortunate that for children, infection with COVID-19 generally has mild effects.COVID-19, vaccination, and our tamariki.
In very rare cases, COVID-19 infection can cause severe sickness in a child, sometimes requiring hospitalisation. This is more likely for children who already have health problems or other risk factors.
For most kids, the serious risk of COVID-19 is very low, but we’re offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all children over the age of 5, recognising that it is a safe way to make sure they have the best protection.
Talk about your child’s individual needs and risks with a medical professional you trust. This could be your doctor, a nurse, or a health worker you know. They can talk about your child’s health, and any risk factors that might make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
It’s already been given to millions of tamariki around the world, and Medsafe New Zealand has checked and confirmed that it is safe for us to give it to our children.
Just like other vaccines that protect against things like whooping cough, measles, and polio, the COVID-19 vaccine sends a set of instructions to our immune system to help it learn to protect us against
Children under 11 will receive a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine than adults. Clinical research shows that using a lower dose is just as effective as the dose adults get.
Children need two doses for the best protection.
After vaccination, your tamariki will need to stay for at least 15 minutes so they can be monitored by a health professional.
The Pfizer vaccine is safe for children with allergies. If your child has a history of allergies, in some situations we may ask you to stay longer (up to 30 minutes) for monitoring to make sure they’re okay.
The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine in children are similar to those seen in adults.
These are generally mild such as a sore arm and maybe some aches or tiredness. They should only last one or two days. Myocarditis and pericarditis are very rare, however it is important to be aware of the symptoms for all ages who are vaccinated.
Ask your vaccinator about what to look out for post-vaccination.
The most common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are:
One more important thing you can do to protect your whaanau is to get your vaccine booster.
You’re eligible for a vaccine booster if you’re aged 18 years or over, and received your second dose at least 3 months ago.
*People under the age of 18 are not yet eligible for booster vaccinations.
If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, your child’s health, and the vaccine, it’s important to keep the conversation going with someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Talk to your doctor, a trusted health worker, or call the official COVID-19 Healthline on 0800 28 29 26.