Right nutrition for children is essential for building immunity
Five vaccines will be available as part of pediatric immunization
These vaccines are ideal for kids above the age of two years
Vaccination has been a crucial measure to control the pandemic to some extent . Recently restrictions have been relaxed and people are gradually coming back to normal life, while following precautionary measures to safeguard themselves from COVID-19 symptoms. Ensuring post COVID-19 care is also important for the well-being of people already affected by the virus. However, the eventual step to get maximum protection against coronavirus is immunization for adults as well as children. However, until now, COVID-19 vaccines have been approved only for adults.
With the threat of a third wave due to the new COVID variant, it has become even more important to get children vaccinated. Read on to understand more about children’s COVID vaccination and why it is essential.
Additional read: Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines in India
The strong immunity power in children was the prime reason of not developing vaccines for kids on a priority basis. Compared to adults, the innate immunity in children is so good that they can fight COVID infection in a better way. Many studies found that symptoms occurred in a less severe form in children.
According to a 2019 WHO report, only about 2% kids under the age of 5 contracted the infection globally . Therefore, priority to roll out vaccines for adults took the center stage. Now that the adult population is getting vaccinated rapidly, it is high time that kids are given immunization shots too.
In the US, vaccine rollouts have begun for kids between 5 and 18 years of age. In other countries, kids above 12 years of age have been vaccinated. All these necessitates the need for vaccinating Indian children as well. Few other countries who have included children in their COVID vaccination programs include:
If a child is vaccinated, the severity of the disease may be controlled. In case where kids have preexisting health complications like asthma and diabetes, they may be at a higher risk for acquiring a COVID-19 infection. Vaccination provides safety to kids when they have to travel to school or for other activities.
Prioritizing pediatric immunization remains the most important next step as of today. Viruses cannot thrive in the absence of a host. So, with proper immunization, the pool of hosts can be reduced. This way the severity of symptoms is also reduced. Around five children COVID-19 vaccines may be ready soon for kids above the age of 2 years. These include:
Though the phase III trial of ZyCoV-D is complete, this vaccine is applicable only for kids above 12 years of age. It is a plasmid DNA vaccine, which requires three doses to be administered. The gap between two doses should be 28 days. However, the Covaxin is completing its Phase II and III trials and can be administered to kids between 2 and 18 years of age. The COVOVAX vaccine is also suitable for kids above 2 years of age. However, RBD vaccine is applicable for kids above 5 years of age. The Ad 26COV.25 can be administered in kids between the age groups of 12 and 17 years. It may take around 8 months to complete the immunization in children. Hence, it is ideal that schools reopen only after children COVID vaccination is complete.
Nutrition plays an important role as it helps in boosting the immunity of children. Therefore, children should be fed a nutritious and a well-balanced diet. It helps them fight infections, which is especially important in these times. Include all these foods in their daily meals so that kids get the right nutrition.
Try avoiding the usage of processed foods as they contain zero nutritional value. Limit the intake of sugary food items as these can cause health complications like obesity in kids.
To bring the pandemic under control, it is important to roll out vaccines for kids. With proper vaccination, children can get protection from COVID. The threat of symptoms becoming severe may decrease with it too. If you have not yet been vaccinated, complete your COVID-19 vaccine registration without any delay and you can download cowin certificate online. You may use the vaccine tracker on Bajaj Finserv Health for ease.
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