University of São Paulo: CoronaVac stock can vaccinate schoolchildren

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) released the CoronaVac vaccine to be used in the immunization of children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years, with a ban on its application in immunosuppressed patients. The vaccine is the second released for children and adolescents, succeeding Pfizer, approved in December 2021 for ages 5 to 11 years.

Magda Carneiro-Sampaio, immunologist and professor of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine (FM) at USP, spoke to Jornal da USP in the 1st Edition about the vaccination of children and adolescents.

According to the expert, the release of CoronaVac is happy news for the population as a whole. “There is a possibility of vaccinating a large number of children at this school age, because the Butantã Institute has a large stock of CoronaVac”, he says.

Magda explains that the importance of vaccinating this age group of the population lies in giving protection to the children themselves, but also to family members and other people who live with the child.

The expert points out that the age group from 5 to 12 years old constitutes almost 10% of the Brazilian population and that vaccinating this group will considerably expand the vaccinated percentage of the population.

need to learn
The importance is also in the protection of the school environment, essential for the regularization of education. The pediatrician comments on the negative impact that the pandemic had on the training of children and adolescents, especially on the training of those living in less favorable socioeconomic conditions.

“We need to have a productive 2022 school year, without interruptions, and this vaccination of school children is absolutely critical to that.”

Impediment to immunosuppressed
The application of CoronaVac is prohibited for immunosuppressed people, people who have conditions that lead them to have a low immune response. This condition is commonly associated with the use of immunosuppressive medications, such as those used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and in the treatment of neoplasia.

Magda draws attention to the fact that there are comorbidities that do not alter the immune response, such as bronchial asthma.

It also highlights that at most 15% of children and adolescents have some type of comorbidity, the most common type being comorbidities resulting from respiratory allergy.

When to take and what to expect
Children and adolescents who have had covid-19 and have recovered can and should get the vaccine. In the case of those who are still fighting the disease, it is necessary to wait at least two weeks, the time necessary for them to recover. That’s because, during the acute phase of covid-19, the immune system is already compromised fighting the disease.

The vaccines available are safe and the possible reactions to the application are mild. It is normal to feel some pain at the injection site. Some people may feel a slight discomfort in the first few days after application, which should not be a cause for concern.

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