The immune system in newborns, babies and children is not fully developed as in adults and thus, they are at a higher risk of infection from deadly diseases like measles, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough [pertussis], etc. Vaccines are tested as an effective solution to prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases among children and communities. By vaccinating newborns, babies and children, their immune system becomes stronger and produces antibodies that protect them from deadly diseases.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], Food and Drug Administration of USA [FDA], the Indian Council of Medical Research [ICMR] and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics [IAP], are apex bodies in the world and in India respectively, that ensure all vaccines have acceptable safety profile and are effective to use. Extensive lab testing and research are carried for many years before a vaccine is approved for public use.
Vaccination During COVID-19 Pandemic
We understand the COVID-19 infection is spreading fast and parents and families are reluctant to step out and get their children vaccinated.
However, timely vaccination and immunization of newborns and children are extremely critical to protect them from serious diseases. There are no known benefits of delaying or canceling your baby's or child’s vaccination. With the right precautions outlined by the CDC and WHO (World Health Organization), parents can reduce the risk of contracting an infection, and make sure their child does not miss important vaccinations.
Precautions to be Followed
If your child is not vaccinated due to COVID-19, please call your Pediatrician or General Physician and enquire about the safe ways to vaccinate your child/baby. Important precautions to be taken during COVID-19 are:
● Visit the clinic only after you have a confirmed vaccination appointment.
● Remain outside of the doctors' office until it is time for your appointment.
● Wrap neonates in a soft cloth to provide comfort while going to the clinic.
● Wear proper masks, gloves, and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) suits, if required.
● Maintain a distance of 2 meters with everybody inside and outside the clinic.
● Wash hands thoroughly before and after the vaccination shot. Carry a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
● Do not carry any toys/personal objects and avoid touching door handles and railings.
● Digital payments should be preferred.
● Senior citizens (more than 60 years of age) should not visit the clinic.
● Enter, exit and conduct yourself in the vaccination clinic as per staffs' advice.
While these are difficult times, it is crucial for parents, caretakers and guardians to prioritize vaccination and consult their doctors immediately for the same.
Vaccination Procedure and Guidelines: What Parents Need to Know
The following are general guidelines and precautions that should be followed before, during, and after getting your child vaccinated:
BEFORE THE VISIT
● Carry the vaccination record card. Request for a new card if it is the first vaccination shot
● Visit the clinic with a prior/ scheduled vaccination appointment.
● Learn about the vaccine (s), it’s purpose and benefits.
● Notify the doctor beforehand if your child is immunocompromised.
PREPARE YOURSELF AND THE CHILD
● Be ready to support your child fully during and after the shot.
● If your child is older than 2 years, explain to them why you are visiting the doctor.
● Let your child know that the shot will pinch or sting for a short while, but it won’t last long.
AT THE CLINIC
● Inform the doctors about the health condition of the child.
● Get the composition of the vaccine checked by a nurse/ doctor in case your child is allergic to any of the medicines or substances.
● Get the Vaccine Information Sheet [VIS] of each vaccine that your child receives.
● Calm down your child if he/ she gets anxious looking at other children. Do not scare them further!
DURING THE SHOT
● Remain calm and relaxed even if the child is in pain or discomfort during vaccination.
Stay safe, stay strong, stay protected!
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Follow Immunization Schedule: 6 Reasons. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/schedules/reasons-follow-schedule.html?CDC_AA> [Accessed 11 December 2020].
2. Cdc.gov. 2020. Interim Guidance For Routine And Influenza Immunization Services During The COVID-19 Pandemic. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pandemic-guidance/index.html> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
4. Immunisation Advisory Centre. 2020. The Immunisation Visit. [online] Available at: <https://www.immune.org.nz/immunisation/immunisation-visit> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
5. Cdc.gov. 2020. Routine Vaccination During The COVID-19 Outbreak | CDC. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/visit/vaccination-during-COVID-19.html> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/caring-for-newborns.html> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. How Vaccines Work. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/why-vaccinate/vaccine-decision.html> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
8. Unicef.org. 2020. Routine Vaccinations During COVID-19: What Parents Need To Know. [online] Available at: <https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/vaccinations-and-covid-19-what-parents-need-know> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
9. Who.int. 2020. Advice For The Public On COVID-19 – World Health Organization. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public> [Accessed 12 December 2020].
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your physician for medical queries, if any, or any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India. NP-IN-GVX-OGM-200046, DOP July 2020.