‘Excellent’ response for KKH COVID-19 child vaccination trial, study may begin next week

SINGAPORE: A trial to vaccinate youngsters aged 5 to 11 in opposition to COVID-19 might begin as early as next week, involving about 150 contributors.

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The study by the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital goals to have a look at the Pfizer vaccine’s efficacy and security amongst youngsters in Singapore, mentioned Dr Yung Chee Fu, an infectious illnesses marketing consultant on the hospital’s paediatrics division, on Friday (Nov 19). 

It can also be anticipated to assist smoothen the method when Singapore rolls out the vaccine at scale.

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“Vaccinating children is not the same as vaccinating adults. So we’re looking at a whole broad range of logistical issues that can come up,” mentioned Dr Yung.

He added that the recruitment for contributors has closed, simply days after it opened on Tuesday, after an “excellent” response. He didn’t present sign-up figures.

“We need to go through the individuals who have registered their interest. We are heartened by the response so far, it’s been excellent. And we hope when everything’s in place, to start the trial itself.”

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Two of the volunteers are from the Foong household – 10-year-old Nathan and eight-year-old Phoebe.

Their dad and mom, Elvin and Esther Foong, mentioned the choice was made after a lot dialogue.

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“They’ve seen a lot of their relatives, a lot of their friends get COVID. And they’ve also seen that because some of them are vaccinated, they actually recover a lot faster,” mentioned Mr Foong.

“So with that information, they were more prepared to say they don’t mind giving it a try.”

The household can also be hoping to journey to Malaysia to reunite with their grandfather, after being aside for two years.

“All of us miss our parents, but we have reservations in going back because sometimes there are so many cases,” mentioned Mrs Foong. 

“With the kids being vaccinated, plus us being vaccinated, we feel that it’s a bit safer for us to go back.”

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Dr Yung mentioned there’s a thorough analysis course of in place for the trial.

Participants who participate within the trial shouldn’t be immunocompromised or have any critical sickness, however these with gentle and well-controlled circumstances resembling bronchial asthma and eczema can be eligible.

They shouldn’t have been contaminated by COVID-19 earlier than as effectively.

Under the trial, youngsters will get two photographs of the paediatric dose. As beneficial by producer Pfizer, the dose can be one-third of the grownup shot. They can be noticed for half-hour after receiving every dose. 

Parents will obtain a vaccine diary to notice down observations of their youngsters for the primary seven days, resembling whether or not they expertise any unwanted effects like a fever or rashes.

The youngsters can be monitored for 15 months and return to the hospital for common check-ups.

Blood samples may also be taken to trace their antibody ranges.

Dr Yung mentioned the trial is a vital step to get younger youngsters protected, particularly as youngsters in that age group are some of the weak now.

“They are actually at the highest risk to get what we call an inflammatory response post COVID, which can be quite severe. And we’ve had a number of cases.”

He was referring to 6 youngsters aged from two months to 11 years previous, who had been contaminated with the MIS-C syndrome – the place organs within the physique get infected because of COVID-19, and sufferers may want intensive care.

Getting inoculated might thus defend youngsters from extreme sickness, mentioned Dr Yung, including that the vaccine’s security has been well-documented.

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