Health Canada has approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11 on November 19, 2021. Alberta pediatricians and the government encourage parents to not hesitate for vaccinating their kids.
Children in Alberta started receiving their first child-sized dose of Pfizer a week after the approval was released. Based on COVID-19 Alberta statistics of December 8, only 19.4 per cent of kids got vaccinated, which rounds up to a population of 75,771.
Dr. Natalie Forbes is a general pediatrician at the Children’s Health Clinic in Calgary. She is ecstatic that the vaccine is available for the kids.
“As a pediatrician, my pediatric colleagues and all infectious disease experts agree that the vaccine is safe,” she said. “I tell parents that they are actually protecting their child from all the possible side effects and the virus by vaccinating them.”
Dr. Forbes mentioned myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle, as a rare side effect of Pfizer, which led parents to concern.
“In fact, myocarditis is something we see commonly in adolescent males in general. Side effects that kids might experience are something that they could get from any vaccination,” said Forbes.
“All the data that we have for the vaccine is really clear that it is just much safer to get the vaccine than it is to actually get the live virus,” she added.
The clinical trial revealed that the vaccine was 90.7 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 in children without serious side effects being identified, according to a statement from Health Canada.
Iryna Tarasenko is a mother of two kids who are younger than the age of 12. She cannot fully trust a scientific review of Pfizer vaccine.
“I feel like nothing is set in stone right now. Who can say my kids will never get those rare side effects from the vaccine? It will not happen to everyone, but it can happen to anyone,” said Tarasenko.
All the data that we have for the vaccine is really clear that it is just much safer to get the vaccine than it is to actually get the live virus. – Dr. Natalie Forbes
Tarasenko booked an appointment for the first dose of Pfizer vaccine for both of her kids last week.
“It was not because I trust it, we just don’t have any other choices,” she mentioned.
Alberta Health Services provides precise information to ensure parents to make their best decision for children. Also, they encourage all parents to talk to their pediatrician about getting their children immunized.
“If parents have any concerns or questions, please talk about it with their doctor or someone they trust as like a trusted healthcare professional to get some advice,” Dr. Natalie Forbes emphasized.