Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry                           
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 231--232

Vaccination for children: A critical measure against the pandemic

Sudhindra Baliga 
 Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudhindra Baliga
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Wardha, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Baliga S. Vaccination for children: A critical measure against the pandemic.J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2021;39:231-232

How to cite this URL:
Baliga S. Vaccination for children: A critical measure against the pandemic. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 7 ];39:231-232
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The coronavirus disease or the COVID-19 pandemic caused by a novel virus SARS-COV-2 has been reported to be highly contagious. Although the initial infection was a zoonotic transmission, human transfer followed and has been reported to occur through respiratory droplets as well.[1] One variation with the spread of COVID-19 is that even asymptomatic patients can transmit the disease.[2] These findings are a concern for the treating dentist.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a challenge to health-care professions such as dentistry. To contain the transmission and spread, the strictly imposed stay-at-home orders have led adolescents and children to spend longer time at home. This has brought about some dietary changes such as increased intake of carbohydrates and frequent sugar intake which favor plaque accumulation thus imposing an increased caries risk as well as increasing predisposition of an individual toward developing periodontal disease.[3]

A questionnaire study conducted in Brazil involving parents of children aged 0–12 years showed as association between parent's fear level of COVID-19 and their willingness to seek dental appointment. In addition, changes in dietary pattern were also experienced by most families during the pandemic.[4]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of multiple strategies–called the “layered prevention” to break transmission chains. The consistent and proper use of these multiple prevention strategies has been associated with a decreased risk of SARS-COV-2 transmission in schools.[5] Specifically, the CDC guidance recommends consistent and correct use of face masks to curb the spread of SARS-COV-2. Children aged 2 years and older who are indoors and not fully vaccinated are also recommended to wear masks.

A distance of at least 3 feet between schoolchildren in a classroom could be optimal and is consistent with WHO and American academy of pediatrics recommendations; provided all other preventive strategies such as masking, proper ventilation and air cleaning, optimal hand hygiene are maximized. In addition, encouraging homestay for children in schools, when symptomatic, or for those who have come in contact with a person known to have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Children infected with SARS-COV-2 have mild symptoms but nevertheless can be the important links of the transmission chain. Vaccination in children has been recommended as this may be the only way in which the pandemic can be stopped.

Although vaccine trials for children are being carried out, concerns regarding giving messenger RNA vaccines to children have been fueled by reports of myocarditis after the United States and Israel began vaccinating young people. Two large studies conducted in Israel indicate a very low risk of developing myocarditis. According to these studies, teenage boys and young men are at more risk of developing myocarditis, the majority of cases are mild and monitoring of these cases revealed a quick recovery.[6],[7]

Although the exact mechanism behind the development of myocarditis in humans has not been studied yet, a role of testosterone has been implicated to aggravate an inflammatory response in animals.[8]

Owing to very low rates of serious illness in young people under 16 since the early days of the pandemic, a delay in giving vaccines to this age group has been advised and recommended by most countries, some countries like the US and Israel being an exception. Furthermore, vaccines have been recommended for clinically vulnerable young adolescents or who are in close contact with vulnerable adults. Concerns regarding the burden of co-infections with SARS-COV-2 and other common viruses have also been raised. With easing of social distancing norms such co-infections may see a rise. In the face of emerging coronavirus variants and growing concerns of these variants pushing through a young person's immune response that makes him/her resistant to COVID-19 infection, it may be important to have the children, particularly adolescents vaccinated. This may be the only way ahead to end this pandemic.


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