Find out what you need to do BEFORE, DURING and AFTER your kids get their COVID-19 vaccine shots!
What To Do Before Your Kids’ Vaccine Appointment?
Just received your kids’ COVID-19 vaccine appointment? This is what you need to do BEFORE the day of your child’s vaccine appointment.
There are fake messages on social media asking people to stop taking medication before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. That is false and dangerous!
Please CONTINUE to give your child his/her medication, unless advised otherwise by your child’s doctor.
Dietary / Exercise Restrictions?
There are NO restrictions on diet or exercise before your child’s vaccination.
In fact, it is a good idea to treat the upcoming vaccination appointment like “any other day”. This will help allay any potential anxiety over the vaccine shot.
You should NOT give your child any painkiller before going for his/her COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
That’s because painkillers can suppress your child’s immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine, and reduce its efficacy.
Read more : Can You Take Painkillers Before / After COVID-19 Vaccination?
What To Do During Your Kids’ Vaccine Appointment?
Here is a list of what you should do on the day of your child’s vaccination :
- Make sure your child wears loose and comfortable clothes.
- Make sure your child has a good meal, and drink some water.
- Make sure your child does NOT have a fever, or any other flu-like symptoms.
If your child is sick, do NOT go to the vaccination centre. Cancel the appointment, and book another slot.
- Make sure you bring a smartphone with MySejahtera installed.
- Make sure you bring some form of identification – MyKad (Malaysia) or passport.
- Bring your child’s medication list, if you need to ask the doctor’s advice at the vaccination centre.
- Make sure your child wears a face mask, and if possible, wears a face shield as well.
- Bring a bottle of water, in case your child gets thirsty.
- Let your child bring a toy (or a tablet) to play with.
- Bring a pen, and something stiff to write on, to fill in the form.
Note : Even though you are asked to submit a digital consent form, you will still be asked to fill and sign a physical consent form at the vaccination centre.
When you get to the vaccination room or booth, please follow these steps :
- Make sure the vaccine vial’s label has an orange border – this confirms that it contains the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year-old children.
- You can ask to check the vaccine expiry date, but please note that the vial expiry date may not match the actual expiry date.
Don’t worry if you see the vial in the open, and not in an ice box. The new formulation is more stable and can last up to 12 hours at room temperature.
- The doctor or nurse will show you the syringe, for you to verify that it has the correct volume of 0.2 ml (not 0.3 ml, which is for older kids and adults).
If a low dead volume (LDV) syringe is used, you should read the volume from the first ring of the plunger, not the top.
Read more : How To Read The Volume Of LDV Syringe Correctly?
- Ask that you be allowed to record a video of the vaccination process.
- After your child receives the injection, the doctor or nurse will show you the syringe, for you to confirm that it is empty.
- Before leaving the vaccination booth, go through the video to confirm that your child received the full dose.
- If there is any discrepancy, you can address it with the doctor or nurse, or ask to see a supervisor.
- After your child receive the vaccination, please stay for the 15-minute observation session.
- Before you leave the vaccination centre, please check MySejahtera and the vaccination card to make sure your child’s name is correct.
Read more : Vaccine Underdose : What Should You Watch Out For?
What To Do After Your Kids’ Vaccine Appointment?
First, congratulate yourself on protecting your children against COVID-19.
Then take some photos before you leave the vaccination centre, and share them on social media!
Help to encourage other parents to also protect their children against COVID-19!
Dietary / Medical Restrictions?
There are NO RESTRICTIONS on your child’s diet or daily life after vaccination.
Please remember – your child was just vaccinated against COVID-19, not convicted of a crime!
Please continue to give your child his/her medications, if any.
Continue COVID-19 Precautions!
Your child must continue to take COVID-19 precautions in public, like wear a face mask and a face shield, and maintain physical distance in public, because :
- your child will not receive maximum protection until 2-3 weeks after the second dose.
- the vaccine is only 90.7% efficacious, so there is a small risk of breakthrough infections.
- new variants like the Delta and Omicron are resistant to vaccines.
Restrictions On Physical Activities?
If possible, your child should avoid strenuous physical activities for a week or two for these reasons :
- A precautionary measure against the rare risk of myocarditis / pericarditis.
- It will also allow you to better detect the symptoms of myocarditis / pericarditis (details below).
- To avoid accidents if your child has a headache or fever while engaging in strenuous physical activities.
- To avoid conflating any pain or muscle ache with the vaccination.
Please note the emphasis on strenuous. There is no need to completely restrict their physical activities.
Monitor For Symptoms Of Myocarditis / Pericarditis
Myocarditis and pericarditis are known but rare adverse events that can happen to those who receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The new paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has a smaller dose, and a lower risk – only 12 myocarditis cases have reported after 8.7 million doses were administered.
The good news is – vaccine-induced myocarditis is often mild, and easily treated.
Therefore, parents are advised to monitor their children for these symptoms, and quickly seek medical attention :
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- heart palpitations / pounding heart
I would like to also point out that the risk of myocarditis from vaccines is far lower than the risk of myocarditis from a COVID-19 infection.
Read more : Vaccine myocarditis risk is less than 1 in million!
You should expect your child to experience mild side effects over the next few days, like fever, muscle ache and possibly headache.
You should not be overly concerned – they are evidence of your child’s immune system learning to fight against COVID-19.
You can give your child painkillers if they feel sick, but try to use paracetamol / acetaminophen instead of NSAIDS like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Report Side Effects
Please report any side effects your child feels over the next few days in MySejahtera.
If they persist, or get severe, please seek medical attention at the nearest government hospital.
Read more : How To Report Vaccine Side Effects In MySejahtera!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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