17 March 2022

Routine vaccinations during COVID-19: What parents need to know

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought with it fear and uncertainty. Many parents are asking about when there will be a COVID-19 vaccine and what to do about routine childhood vaccinations during the pandemic. We're here to provide answers to your most common questions.  , Should my child still get routine vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic?, While COVID-19 is disrupting our daily lives, the short answer is yes, do try to get your child vaccinated where services are available. It is important that children and babies keep their vaccinations up to date because they protect them from serious diseases. It means that when your children can return to interacting with other children, they’ll…, What do you think we can learn from this outbreak? What can it teach us about other diseases and the decision to vaccinate?, This outbreak reminds us of how valuable vaccines are. It shows us that when there is a vaccine available for a disease, we should keep our children and ourselves up to date with that vaccination.  Without the protection of vaccines, diseases can spread quickly and with terrible consequences. For example, measles and other diseases remain a…, How do vaccines work?, Vaccines help train our immune system to fight infections by introducing an inactivated form of a germ (bacteria or virus) into the body. Since it is inactivated, it cannot make us sick. However, it triggers our body’s immune system to produce defences called antibodies. Then, if you ever catch the germ, your body’s immune system will already know…, Where can I find the latest guidance on vaccinations?, Contact your health care provider, consult your local and national health authority websites and follow guidance provided by  WHO  and  UNICEF ., How can I protect myself and others from COVID-19?, Some of the precautions you and your family can take to help avoid infection include: Washing your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth. If you sneeze or cough, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or a tissue. Dispose of used tissue immediately. Avoid…, I have a newborn to 1-year-old. How can I protect my baby from COVID-19?, In addition to all of the advice already given to parents about hand washing, physical distancing and maintaining hygiene practices, they should take extra care to protect infants from infection. Breastfeed your baby if possible. There is currently no proven research that breastmilk can transmit the virus, but you should take the usual hygiene and…, What should I do if my child is showing symptoms of COVID-19? Is it safe to take her to the doctor?, If your child has a sore throat, a cough or a fever, call your doctor or health service for advice before bringing them in. They may have a special arrangement at the clinic to minimise spread of infection to others. If your child has more serious symptoms, like shortness of breath or seems unusually sick, call the emergency number or take them to…, Should I get my child tested for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?, You don’t need to have your child tested if he or she is healthy and not showing any symptoms (such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing). Do also make sure to take all key steps to protect your family against COVID-19.  
12 November 2020

What you need to know about a COVID-19 vaccine

A vaccine for COVID-19 will be a critical tool for helping bring the pandemic under control when combined with effective testing and existing prevention measures. Experts around the world are working hard to accelerate the development and manufacturing of a safe and effective vaccine. The threat to children posed by COVID-19 is enormous, extending…, When will a COVID-19 vaccine be ready?, Developing a safe and effective vaccine takes time. There are currently more than 200 vaccine candidates under development, with many in clinical trials. A number of these vaccine candidates are in Phase III clinical trials – the final step before a vaccine is approved. Given the accelerated timelines global stakeholders are working toward, we…, How is the COVID-19 vaccine being developed?, Vaccines work by mimicking an infectious agent – viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms that can cause a disease. This ‘teaches’ our immune system to rapidly and effectively respond against it.  Traditionally, vaccines have done this by introducing a weakened form of an infectious agent that allows our immune system to build a memory of it.…, Will a coronavirus vaccine be safe?, Each country has regulatory bodies that oversee vaccine safety and efficacy before they are used widely. Globally, the WHO coordinates a number of independent technical bodies that review the safety of vaccines prior to and even after they have been introduced. Vaccines that are approved for use by the WHO have gone through rigorous tests and…, What is COVAX?, The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator, aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access…, When will a COVID-19 vaccine be available in my country?, Once any of the current COVID-19 vaccine candidates have successfully undergone clinical trials, proved to be both safe and effective, and have received regulatory approval, available doses will be allocated to all countries participating in the COVAX Facility using a standardized allocation formula, proportional to their total population size.…, Who will have access to the coronavirus vaccine?, The current goal is to make 2 billion doses of the vaccine available under the COVAX plan by the end of 2021. This should be enough doses to protect health and social care workers, as well as those at highest risk of serious disease or death in most countries around the world. That will be an enormous achievement, but probably for the first few…, Should my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?, Under the COVAX plan, the initial doses of vaccines sent to countries are intended for health workers, social care workers and people at high risk of severe illness from the virus, such as the elderly or those with underlying conditions, and are unlikely to be given to children. These populations have been prioritized to help reduce morbidity from…, How can I protect my family until a COVID-19 vaccine is ready?, Here are some precautions you and your family can take to help avoid infection: Wash your hands frequently using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub Keep at least 1 metre distance between yourself and others Seek medical care early if you or your child has a fever, cough, difficulty breathing or other symptoms of COVID-19 Avoid crowded…