Children must complete immunization before getting COVID-19 jab

Children must complete immunization before getting COVID-19 jab

A health worker inoculates a student of Jatiasih 10 State Elementary School in Bekasi, West Java,  on November 16, 2021. (ANTARA PHOTO/Suwandy/rwa/KT)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Parents should ensure children get complete routine vaccinations before obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine, according to chairperson of the Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI), Prof. Sri Rezeki Hadinegoro.

"This is our and mothers' common problem, when their children who have not completed the routine vaccinations but want to be injected by the COVID-19 vaccine," she said during a webinar on 'Discussing COVID-19 and Child Vaccination' originating from here on Tuesday.

COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 6-11 years will only take place in 2022, so parents can use this time to get children to complete routine vaccination first, she added.

"We have one month (December or until January, before the COVID-19 vaccination for children is conducted). So, there are still two or three months to complete the routine vaccination first," she stressed.

She also asked parents not to postpone the routine immunization of children to avoid getting confused or forgetting their child's vaccination status when COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 6-11 years are made available.

According to Hadinegoro, the routine immunization of children is necessary to provide a gap till the COVID-19 vaccine. So later, it will be easy to determine which vaccine has caused side effects on children, she expounded.

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"It is possible (to inject the vaccine at one time). But because (COVID-19 vaccine) is still new, we have not understood it well. If there are side effects, we will be confused which (vaccine type) is the cause," she added.

Thus, she affirmed a two-to-four-week interval from the last vaccine injection is required.

"We recommend the interval because the (vaccine) that we have is an inactivated vaccine, so it is safe," she added. 

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