Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE doctors say Sinopharm shot will allow kids to return to normal routines

Saman Haziq /Dubai Filed on August 2, 2021
Reuters file photo

Children — though believed to be less affected by Covid-19 — can contribute to virus transmission as they play and interact with others.

For generations, kids have been safely receiving vaccines created in the same way the Sinopharm jab was made. Now that this Covid vaccine has been approved for children as young as 3 years old, it’s high time they got the protection they need amid the pandemic, doctors have said.

Children — though believed to be less affected by Covid-19 — can contribute to virus transmission as they play and interact with others. So, getting them vaccinated is also a significant step towards curbing the spread of the contagion, they added.

“Though we feel kids get less sick than adults, Covid-19 can still harm them by causing long-term health conditions like MIS-C,” said Dr Manjunath M Nagalli, pediatrician at Burjeel Specialty Hospital, Sharjah,

Dr Nagalli added that vaccination goes beyond disease prevention, it could also help youngsters return to their normal lives.

“Vaccination, which is an important tool in bringing the pandemic to an end, will also have a positive impact on children’s wellbeing in terms of social and emotional development.”

It will allow kids to enjoy school life and sports events again, which are of paramount importance for their overall development, the medics added.

Sinopharm vaccine trials conducted on the children have shown promising results with negligible side effects, he added. “It has an efficacy ranging between 75 and 85 per cent against Covid-19 infections and nearly 100 per cent in preventing moderate to severe cases.”

Doctors assured that the science behind the Sinopharm Covid vaccine is similar to the age-old method of vaccine-making. It follows the tried-and-tested route of training the body’s immune system to detect and destroy viruses by injecting inactivated virus.

Dr Kalpana Sengupta, head of the department and paediatric specialist at NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda, Dubai, explained: “Sinopharm is an inactivated vaccine effective against Covid-19. As part of the regular immunisation schedule, children receive many inactivated vaccines.”

Dr Manoj Kumar Jangid, paediatric specialist at NMC Royal Hospital, DIP, Dubai, added: “Many other childhood vaccines, such as injectable polio, hepatitis A, and flu vaccines, are made with a similar principle of viral particles being inactivated, rendering them unable to infect the person but able to produce a good immune response.”

Dr Puneet Wadhwa, paediatrician at Prime Hospital, said the approval also comes at the right time. “Schools will be re-opening in September and Expo 2020 a month later, therefore this is the right time to introduce the vaccine for children, who form a significant part of the country’s population.

“China has been using it for a long time to vaccinate their kids therefore it is quite a safe vaccine to be used on kids. Personally, I have seen a number of adults saved from Covid related complications as they were vaccinated with Sinopharm. The UAE authorities have also conducted rigorous trials.”

Saman Haziq

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