PHCC urges parents to vaccinate their teens against Covid-19
Doha: The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) called on parents and guardians to vaccinate their young adolescents aged 12 to 15, stressing the importance of vaccination for this age group to prevent the spread of the virus COVID-19 to the rest of the population. the family, in particular, the elderly and those with chronic diseases and weakened immune systems, as well as reducing the rates of mutation of the virus to new strains and obtaining community immunity.
PHCC called on parents, guardians and community members to avoid rumors and unofficial and false news published in the media and on social media regarding the symptoms and side effects of vaccination, asking them to obtain information related to COVID-19 only from reliable sources and official sources.
PHCC conducted a Qatari scientific study, the first of its kind in the world, conducted by a company research team under the supervision of Dr Mariam Abdelmalik, CEO of PHCC, with the participation of a number of researchers and experts. The study was published in early September in the “Vaccines / MDPI” Journal, a prestigious international scientific and medical journal.
The research study concluded that “a lot of evidence indicates that children and adolescents are less likely to develop severe symptoms as a result of COVID-19 infection, however, there are cases in which some suffer from serious complications that can lead to death or long-term symptoms such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Therefore, the COVID-19 vaccine is an important step towards protecting the community and limiting the transmission of the virus from children and adolescents to family members and to those who are more susceptible to infection, thereby reducing the risk of mutation to strains capable of withstanding available vaccines. “
In this context, community medicine specialist Dr Sarah Rashid Musa stressed the importance of vaccination for all eligible groups, as numerous clinical trials have shown that people fully immunized with Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are less likely to develop symptoms of infection, to be hospitalized, or to develop serious complications and pass the infection on to others, noting that there was a lower overall mortality rate associated with the COVID-19 virus compared to unvaccinated people.
Regarding the reasons for resistance to vaccination, Dr Sarah Musa indicated that fear of side effects or mistrust / misinformation related to the vaccine, could be attributed to greater reluctance to vaccinate among Gulf countries, especially particularly that vacation trips that require a COVID-19 vaccination certificate, were not considered necessary compared to other nationalities for their intentions to return to their country of origin (especially after the summer of 2020 during the first phase of the pandemic, when many expatriates chose not to fly due to the complexity and associated risks).
Researchers believe parents likely need more confidence over time, especially since FDA clearance for the vaccine was released just two days before the elderly population’s vaccination campaign began. 12 to 15 years old in Qatar. Another contributing factor could also be related to rumors, misinformation received from the media or acquaintances.
Through this study, the researchers recommended strengthening the role of local public health strategies by providing more evidence-based updates on the efficacy and safety of vaccines in children / adolescents to improve the confidence in the vaccine. Health care authorities should also consider establishing channels of communication with communities through physicians based on their credibility with the public.
The results of this study will provide insight into potential indicators of vaccine reluctance and provide preliminary information on future COVID-19 vaccination campaigns for children and adolescents. The findings have implications for planning effective communication strategies specifically targeting Gulf populations, parents of younger adolescents, and those previously infected with COVID-19 to build community confidence and confidence in immunization, reducing potentially asymptomatic viral circulation, increasing absorption of the COVID-19 vaccine and achieving herd immunity. The results of this study have also been validated by international studies.