Should young children be given the Covid jab in light of new Omicron variant?
- Last week Chris Baragwanath hospital ICU head said more children under 5 were being admitted with Covid-19 than before
- Since October young children from the age of 12 in SA have been eligible to receive one dose of the Pfizer vaccine
It appears more children are being hospitalised for Covid-19 in South Africa than in the earlier stages of the pandemic.
Last week the head of Intensive Care, at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Joburg, Prof Rudo Mathivha told CapeTalk they had seen a significant increase in young patients in the pediatric Covid-19 ICU.
In October, the Covid-19 vaccine became available for the first time for young people aged 12 to 17 years.
But some parents say they're still on the fence about whether to have their kids vaccinated.
Speaking to CapeTalk's John Maytham, pediatrician Dr. Jonda Kerner says she would suggest youngsters receive the vaccine.
It has already been tested in South Africa between 3 years and 17 and there have been no side effects and it's very effective.Dr. Jonda Kerner, Pediatrician
And what about the potential for long-term side effects, asked Maytham?
I doubt that very much, we have vaccinated a whole population. The young kids get a million vaccines when they're under 5 and so far everybody has been fine.Dr. Jonda Kerner, Pediatrician
There isn't anything in that fact except a very deactivated virus or a part of a virus, so there can't really be long-term problem with that.Dr. Jonda Kerner, Pediatrician
Kerner also responded to listener fear about the relative infancy of the Covid vaccine.
She said none of the three types of Covid vaccine being used are 'new'.
The RNA is something that been looked at since the year 2000, the DNA has been around forever and is used in the measles vaccine.Dr. Jonda Kerner, Pediatrician
The Sinovac is an inactive virus that we've been using for a very, very long time and has been given to around a billion people.Dr. Jonda Kerner, Pediatrician
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