ZB

Few children experienced adverse side effects after Pfizer vaccine - survey

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Apr 2022, 4:51pm
More than 260,000 tamariki have now received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo / Getty Images)
More than 260,000 tamariki have now received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo / Getty Images)

Few children experienced adverse side effects after Pfizer vaccine - survey

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Fri, 22 Apr 2022, 4:51pm

By RNZ

Most children aged 5 to 11 did not experience a reaction after receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, according to new figures from the Ministry of Health.

The Post Vaccine Symptom Check survey of nearly 18,000 parents and caregivers identified no new safety concerns for the child vaccine, the ministry said in a statement.

National Immunisation Programme spokesperson Dr Tim Hanlon said just 21 per cent of caregivers reported that their child experienced a reaction after their vaccination.

"The most commonly reported reactions were tiredness, a reaction at the injection site, headaches and body pain. These are all known and expected side effects of the vaccine.

"For tamariki who missed school or other daily activities, the majority were reported to have missed one day or less after their vaccination. Less than 1 per cent of tamariki visited a doctor after vaccination."

The survey did not ask whether the missed activities or visit to a doctor were because of a vaccination reaction.

The responses were gathered by a text message survey to a random selection of the population after their vaccination.

"We know what to expect after Covid-19 vaccinations based on data from clinical trials. Having our own reporting systems in Aotearoa New Zealand helps us to ensure that the vaccine is working as expected in a local context," Hanlon said.

More than 260,000 tamariki have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The children's vaccine rollout began in January.

"Aotearoa New Zealand has a good reporting culture in comparison to other countries, meaning that people are more likely to submit a report after vaccination, even for something minor like a headache or sore arm," Hanlon said.

"Given the large number of vaccinations happening in a short timeframe, we expect to receive a high number of reports about reactions to the vaccine.

"The important thing we look at is the context of the reports we receive, which helps us to identify if there are any trends that might need to be investigated further.

"It's important that you report how you feel after your Covid-19 vaccination, even if it seems minor. You don't have to be a healthcare professional to submit a report, and you don't need to be sure that the vaccine caused the reaction you experienced."