Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Some parents opt for shorter intervals on the second dose for children.

Calgary –

Parents of some five- to 11-year-olds are choosing to shorten the interval for their child’s second shot, prioritizing immediate safety over the long-term benefit of waiting.

Both the AHS and NACI recommend an eight-week gap for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, which time appears to provide more long-lasting protection against the novel coronavirus.

However, waiting up to three weeks still provides an excellent level of protection, even if immunity begins to fade more quickly.

But with the Omicron version being so pervasive, there is a sense of urgency for parents of school-age children.

“We’re trying to make sure our kids have the childhood we want to feel safe in the activities we want and we’re keeping other members of our family safe grandparents as well,” said Jane Roberts, whose daughter Elsa is also enrolled in extra-curricular swimming and dancing.

“We were really grappling with the fact that there was an opportunity for him to have a little bit more immunity,” Roberts said. “Just how fast it’s moving through the community helped us make the decision.”

Jane Roberts got her daughter a second COVID vaccine earlier than recommended

Dan Gregson, professor of infectious disease at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, said parents are not mistaken in considering pushing the shots.

“I think waiting for the full eight weeks may be a bit long given what is currently going on in the province,” Dr Gregson said. He adds that there is an advantage to vaccinating children, albeit in a low-risk but high-result scenario.

“The data shows that although severe disease is less common in young children, it becomes a very rare event if you have a fully immunized child,” he said.

The AHS said it doesn’t recommend shortening the interval, but parents won’t be turned away either. Instead the nurses will explain the risks of shortening the wait: that is, long-term immunity will not be as good without a third shot.

Overall in Alberta, COVID vaccination of five- to 11-year-olds is progressing slowly — 39 percent have one shot and 17,764 — or 4.5 percent — have two — all sooner than the government recommends.

Nation World News Desk
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