Department of Health begins vaccination against COVID-19 in children under 5 years of age

Pediatricians have all the necessary information to answer the questions of parents on the Island.

A patient with her father after receiving her COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

The Department of Health began vaccination against COVID-19 in Puerto Rico in children under 5 years of age, after health authorities authorized the use of vaccines for this population.

In this sense, Dr. Carlos Mellado, secretary of the Department of Health, stressed that it is normal for parents to have reservations, but for this the island’s pediatricians have all the information to resolve doubts regarding the process. “It is always important to consult with the pediatrician,” said the official.

For her part, Dr. Iris Cardona, the main official doctor of the Port Health Department, highlighted that there are 106,000 children eligible to receive the vaccine. “We have more than 200 suppliers that are in charge of managing the regular schedule vaccinationsand the COVID-19 vaccine has been put into service in these centers”.

The distribution is a bit different, because there is no the same number of children in all the towns. “There are two authorized vaccines, Pfizer is authorized and recommended for ages 6 months and older and has a different preparation, just like Moderna. With Pfizer, the child must receive 3 doses and with Moderna, two doses.”

Cardona explained that the time intervals between one dose and another for the Pfizer vaccine range between 3 and 8 weeks, in the first and second vaccine, and for the third dose a minimum of 8 weeks. For Moderna, it’s 4 to 8 weeks between doses.

There was also a a scientific discussion with members of the Puerto Rican Society of Pediatrics, who studied the clinical trials, where it was found that the most frequent symptoms are pain in the place where it is applied and fatigue. In infants, drowsiness, irritability, and a slight fever were recorded.

“There were no cases of anaphylaxis, there were no fatalities and no cases of myocarditis have been identified in minors,” he stressed.

COVID-19 vaccination in Puerto Ricans

About him ongoing vaccination process for the 5 year olds From then on, Dr. Mellado highlighted the scope and importance of booster vaccinations, as well as the use of antiretrovirals that prevent the exacerbation and aggravation of the symptoms caused in vulnerable populations.

“The booster is very important. If you have symptoms and are vaccinated, it means that mortality will decrease and the symptoms are less. In the case of children, consult your pediatrician,” he concluded.

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