How parents can prepare kids for COVID-19 vaccination

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2022 11:25 AM

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MANILA – Parents should psychologically prepare their kids for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, a pediatrician said Wednesday.

“It’s best that you will explain to them what is vaccination like. For example, you start with what is concrete,” said Dr. Yen Reyes of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of the Philippines.

“You can tell them that if they have lolos or lolas who had COVID, and some kids, [if] their lolos or their lolas or their loved ones died of COVID, you can tell them that if they get vaccinated, it will prevent them from having that disease or prevent them from hospitalization, and also it will help them so that they can’t transmit the disease to their loved ones also.”

Reyes encouraged parents to sign up their kids for the COVID-19 jab once registration opens in the different local government units.

On vaccination day, parents should bring their kids’ identification documents — like birth certificates — with them, Reyes said.

She also noted that children with comorbidities may need to bring their medical certificates to the vaccination sites.

“It is important to bring medical certificate for kids who have comorbids, especially with neurologic problems -- so they have their cerebral palsy, they have stroke, those with cardiac diseases like congenital heart diseases… those with bronchial asthma or pulmonary disease, those who have liver problems like the jaundice, those who have kidney problems like lupus erythematosus, and those who have HIV or kids who are obese… and those who have diabetes.”

“So these kids need medical certificate,” she said.

It would also be good if kids are masked up at the vaccination sites, the doctor said.

“Aside from those things, you have to bring the face mask, and make sure that your kids have nice face mask and face shield. Because a lot of my patients they are so happy to show to me that they have nice face mask and face shield like the princess or the cartoon characters,” she related.

“Then you have to dress the kids lightly, whenever you go there, ‘cause sometimes it’s hot, and… sometimes the hotness can also trigger fever in children.”

“Dress them lightly, bring water so that they can [get] enough fluids,” she said.

Reyes also said parents can let their kids bring their favorite toys or gadgets to the vaccination sites to keep them entertained while they wait for their turn.

“You also have to bring extra food and candies, especially rewards for them so they won’t be bored, and since they will be lining, also because there [are] stages, so you have to bring them their toys or gadgets that could entertain them.”

After vaccination, parents should let their children rest, Reyes said.

“After the vaccination, at home, you let the patient take a bath to remove all the dirt from their surfaces, and then you have to let them rest.

“And for one day, you have to let them sleep and give them proper fluids, increase enough fluids, and then give them fruits and vegetables to make them healthy,” she added.

Malacañang said on Tuesday that COVID-19 vaccinations for Filipino children aged 5 to 11 will start on February 4.

The Pfizer vaccine has an efficacy rate of 90 percent among children aged 5 and above, with "very mild" adverse events, according to recently resigned Food and Drug Administration chief Eric Domingo.

-- ANC, 26 January 2022