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When will children be vaccinated: New Zealand starts roll out of Covid-19 paediatric vaccine

When will children be vaccinated? Immunization for children aged five to eleven years old begins on Monday, January 17. To be properly vaccinated, children will require two doses, which should be administered at least eight weeks apart, though the Ministry of Health believes the time can be safely reduced to a minimum of 21 days if necessary.

“A shorter dosing interval is acceptable if for example the child is commencing significant immunosuppression treatment,” operating guidelines released in December stated.

The ministry emphasizes that third primary extra doses for immunocompromised patients are not suggested for this age group.

“Advice for severely immunocompromised children who may need a third primary dose will be considered once further evidence is available on the need, safety, and efficacy.”

According to the government, if your kid reaches 12 before the day of their second dosage, they should still finish their vaccine with a paediatric dose.

New Zealand rolls out 500,000 paediatric doses

Nurses and doctors are stocked up, trained up, and prepared for an influx now that over 500,000 tamariki may receive a special paediatric dosage of the Covid-19 vaccination.

Parents and caregivers may reserve their children aged five to eleven years old for a free immunization or bring them in for a walk-in appointment beginning January 17.

Clare Lang, an Aucklander, and her eight- and ten-year-old kids are among those who intend to attend a clinic as soon as feasible.

When will children be vaccinated: New Zealand starts roll out of Covid-19 paediatric vaccine
A child receives her dose of Covid vaccine

“Obviously here in Auckland Covid’s been a real threat and the girls have missed a lot of school. We’ve thought about it as something we really want to get done,” she said.

According to the Mission Bay Doctors, many local parents have the same feeling.

Vicki Mount, a general practitioner who is one of 380 vaccinating physicians and pharmacists in Tmaki Makaurau, noted that interest in the children’s vaccination began a long time ago.

“We’ve had our patients asking, for a couple of months now, when can they get their children vaccinated.

“Then with the announcement before Christmas that the date of January 17th was coming, we saw huge demand – people calling the clinic wondering if they could book,” she said.

“We know that our patients are really keen to protect their children.”

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccinations in special paediatric dosages arrived to Mission Bay Doctors last week and have been stored in the clinic’s refrigerators until they are delivered.

They are one-third the amount of the adult vaccination, and the Ministry of Health prescribes that children have two at an eight-week interval – the best period to minimize any negative effects.

Across the country, 120,000 immunizations are ready to be distributed at 500 locations.

The Ministry of Health predicted that the number would rise in the following weeks and that it would be supported with a program of Mori-designed and Pacific-led programs aiming at making vaccines available to all whnau.

Dr Mount stated that her clinic had spent a significant amount of time preparing for the distribution of the children’s vaccination, despite already being well-versed in providing first and second adult doses and boosters.

“Every person who wants to vaccinate children needs to complete a special course which goes through the evidence and the safety, how to draw up the vaccine and all of the requirements around the temperature and how long it’s stable for – and safe practice, because of course we really need to make sure that vaccinating adults and children, we keep them really safe,” she said.

How to book an appointment

The vaccination is completely free. From the 17th of January, parents or caregivers can bring their tamariki to a walk-in clinic or use the BookMyVaccine website to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional, hauora, or general practice. Make certain that you choose the right age range. Parents or caregivers must accompany their children to the appointment.

Alternatively, call Healthline at 0800 28 29 26 (open 8am-8pm, seven days a week) and they will arrange the appointment for you and answer any queries you may have. There are interpreters available.

From Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, on 0800 28 29 26 (and push 2), or free text 8988, or email accessiblecovidvaccinations@whakarongorau.nz, the Disability Team is ready to help schedule bookings or answer questions on accessibility, free transport choices, and vaccine effects.

Some health care professionals are not yet ready to begin vaccinating youngsters since they have just recently returned from the summer holiday.

When will children be vaccinated: New Zealand starts roll out of Covid-19 paediatric vaccine
A child gets ready to receive her jab of Covid vaccine

Other clinics, including a new drive-through location at the Eventfinda Stadium in Wairau Valley located on the Auckland’s North Shore, are welcoming parents and children without appointments starting January 17. People who waited for so long asking when will children be vaccinated are now bringing their children to vaccination sites.

Dr. Anthony Jordan, clinical director of the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre, was optimistic that personnel will be able to meet demand.

“We have so much capacity now – different to where we were say, six, nine months ago when we were turning on a lot of the sites. So we have the capability to do 30,000 vaccinations a day,” he said.

Skeptical parents must be encouraged

Dr. Jin Russell anticipated that some people would be skeptical about the children’s immunization.

She is a developmental paediatrician and the mother of two children who, according to her, will be immunized.

People should be comforted that major adverse effects are quite rare, according to Dr. Russell.

“I think it’s okay to take your time and make sure you’ve had all your questions answered. It’s important that you have someone that you trust you can speak to about this who can give you good information,” she said.

“I do encourage parents to prepare to have their children vaccinated. We are expecting that some time soon, the Omicron variant is going to burst into New Zealand and that has potential to cause a lot of infections in children.”

That data was recently analyzed in an international research, which called into question the idea that Covid-19 is just a minor illness in tamariki and emphasized the benefits of immunization.

According to Ministry of Health data, children accounted for 20% of the illnesses in New Zealand’s Delta outbreak, and 7% of those who required hospital treatment.

There is no requirement for children to get vaccinated; jab or no jab, they will be able to return to school when it returns in two weeks.

However, president of Auckland Primary Principals’ Association Stephen Lethbridge warned that schools will want to gauge student interest.

“I think what we’ll end up doing is schools will keep a very accurate vaccination register. So we’ll be asking questions of our whānau and family [who] do have the right not to disclose that information,” he said.

Dr. Russell urged parents to talk to their children about the vaccination and address any concerns they may have.

She explained that a hurting arm and weariness are to be anticipated, and that youngsters should be proud of themselves for acting bravely to defend themselves and their friends.

Prepare your tamaraki before going for a vaccine

The Ministry of Health recommends that parents/caregivers provide encouragement prior to immunization to make tamariki feel at ease.

Check to see if they’ve had anything to eat or drink previously.

Check that they are dressed in a way that allows easy access to their upper arm, where the vaccination will be delivered.

They can also bring something distracting to the session, such as a soft toy or a phone.

Both the adult and the kid are free to ask as many questions as they wish throughout the visit.

Possible adverse effects of paediatric vaccine

If your tamariki have had adverse reactions to immunizations, inform your vaccinator, consult your whnau doctor before the visit, or call the Covid Vaccination Healthline at 0800 28 29 26 to speak with a skilled counsellor.

As with any immunization, children may experience soreness, redness, discomfort, or redness and swelling at the vaccination site.

Other possible effects include fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, exhaustion, and overall discomfort, which generally develop during the next day or two (feeling unwell, pains, and body aches).

According to the Ministry of Health, these are frequent adverse effects that demonstrate that the vaccination is effective. It suggests drinking plenty of water and sleeping to aid.

Severe responses to the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine are extremely rare and often develop within minutes of inoculation. As a result, I stayed behind to watch the immunization site.

If your child experiences any of the following myocarditis or pericarditis symptoms in the days or weeks following vaccination, seek medical attention immediately: chest discomfort, heaviness, tightness, or pain, difficulty breathing, feelings of a fast-beating, fluttering, or heart palpitation, feeling faint, light-headed, or dizzy.

Breathing difficulties, inflammation of the face or throat, a fast heartbeat, a nasty rash all over the body, nausea, and weakness are all symptoms of a severe allergic response. If you find your kid exhibiting any of these signs, notify clinical personnel right once. Call 111 if you need help and you are outside a vaccination site.

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