2. Why can't children get the coronavirus vaccine?
Coronavirus vaccines are not yet available for children because whilst testing for safety and efficacy on children is underway, it has not yet been completed. New vaccines often take years to get to children because all vaccines are tested first in adults. This is because adults can provide informed consent and give more information about any reactions than would be possible for children.
Whilst for most infectious diseases, young people are the most vulnerable and the top priority for protection, the good news is that this is not the case for COVID-19. Children have a lower infection rate than adults and only vary rarely experience the severely symptoms which have older adults and those with pre-existing conditions admitted to hospital.
3. Should my child still get routine vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic?
100 per cent yes! While COVID-19 has changed some aspects of our lives, it is still very important that children and babies keep their vaccinations up to date. Not only do these vaccines protect from debilitating and life-threatening diseases but fully vaccinated children can safely resume interacting with other children, at school or social engagement, once COVID-19 restrictions allow.
If you are unsure of whether or not your immunisation service is still running as usual, please check with your health care provider. Because the COVID-19 situation is changing every day, you might find your health care providers will be adjusting their way of providing care as things change. If you cannot get to a clinic when your child’s next vaccinations are due, make a note somewhere to try again as soon as the services resume.