Are the vaccines safe for children?

Duration: 01:37

Transcript of Are the vaccines safe for children?

Well, at the moment we have the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine recommended for children over the age of 12 in Australia, and this vaccine has been shown in a large clinical trial in the US to be safe and effective.

There are common and expected side effects, such as a sore headache, fatigue and fever that can occur. And of course, we continue to monitor very closely for any serious but rare side effects.

Since the Pfizer vaccine has been given to large numbers of children globally, a very rare but serious side effect has been detected and that's called myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis, or the inflammation of the lining around the heart.

It occurs more commonly in young men and boys between the ages of about 12 and 30, and it happens about five to seven days after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Typically, a young boy, but also can happen in a young girl, can get some chest pain or shortness of breath, and there may need to go to hospital for a couple of nights.

The treatment is largely conservative or with some anti-inflammatory treatment. But all these young men and young girls have been shown to make a full recovery.

So it is a serious side effect that we're watching very closely. But fortunately, it's quite mild.

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