Currently, South Africa has no vaccine approved for children yet, but we can likely expect this as an option soon as South Africa has joined Chile, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Kenya in enrolling children in clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccines.
"It's a good step forward because children have to get vaccinated at some point. If this goes well, it can happen as early as next year," CEO of the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray, told News24.
Internationally, as reported by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), children between the ages of 12 and 15 are approved to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
In Italy the latest government reports show that at least 23% of children between 12 and 19 years old have been fully vaccinated as of September 2021.
In the US, where vaccines for children have been approved for months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that in July of this year 33% of 12-15-year-olds had received one shot and 25% were considered fully vaccinated.
For the 16-17 age group, 45% have had at least one shot and 37% are considered fully vaccinated.
But how do South African parents feel about the impending option to vaccinate their children against Covid-19?
Parent24 asked local parents if they will be vaccinating their children after the clinical trials are finished, and this is what they shared...
Not until it's tested
Mom Siphokazi says she will not vaccinate her children until the vaccine used in children is tested and is 100% safe and the side effects are controlled.
Dad Mpikashe says he will not take his children to get vaccinated, but their moms may feel otherwise, and insist. "But if it were up to me, I would not take them to do it. Even me, I would only vaccinate to save my job but not because I want, but because my job is threatened," he adds.
Sonti says, "I am not vaccinated, and my kids will not vaccinate because their immune system is strong and the statistics of children with Covid-19 are very low."
Hoho says it is unnecessary to vaccinate children for Covid-19 because "children are already going for immunisation. Kids between 12 and 18 years old have a stronger immune system."
Dad Bona says that he will not vaccinate his children because he also vaccinated for the sake of his job, not because he wanted too. "In the vaccination sites, you get clarity on the side effects that can happen to you as an adult. However, imagine how much more for the child?" he said.
For their safety
Mom Helen says she will be taking her children to be vaccinated as soon as it's possible. They're in their early teens so she feels comfortable with it.
Mom Ntloko says that her children will not be part of the trial stages. But, at a later stage when the trials have finished and the vaccine is safe she will vaccinate her children. "When most children are vaccinated, and there is nothing wrong with the vaccine, that will be when I will take my children for the vaccine," she says.
Qhangaqha says that she will take her 8-year-old son to be vaccinated because since they attend school, they are the ones who bring Covid-19 home from school. When they are vaccinated, there will be slimmer chances of them being infected, says this mom.
Nosimanye told us, "If next year, children can vaccinate. I am taking my children to vaccinate against Covid-19. I went to vaccinate, and I felt safer afterwards. So, for their safety, I will take them."
Let us know what you think about vaccinating your children against Covid-19.
Share your stories and questions with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
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