It's been more than two months since the new coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 began.

About 6% of children have been vaccinated twice, about 1 in 16 children.

Although children are less likely to become seriously ill even if they are infected with corona, they are still infected one after another, and since they often go out on long holidays soon, they are worried about infection.

Should I get the vaccine or not?

In the now widespread Omicron strain, the vaccine is as low as 31% to prevent infection in children, but studies have shown that it is 68% effective in preventing serious illness.

How effective are they and how many side reactions are there?

We have compiled new data so that children and parents can think together.

(As of April 22)

What is a child's vaccine?

Corona's vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 is made by Pfizer, an American drug company, and is given twice every three weeks.

Children's vaccines contain one-third the amount of body-working components of adult vaccines.

Vaccines work because a mechanism called "immunity" works to fight and kill viruses and bacteria that have come in from the outside.

In detail, the corona vaccine contains a substance called "messenger RNA" that is a blueprint for the thorny part called "spiked protein" on the surface of the virus.

When you inject the vaccine, a "spiked protein" is made based on this blueprint.

Since "spiked protein" is a component of the virus, a substance called "antibody" that is a weapon to attack the virus is made using this as a marker, and it will be possible to fight when the new coronavirus really enters the body. is.

When infected without vaccination, "immunity" tries to fight by making "antibodies" that match the shape of the new coronavirus.

However, you may not be able to make enough "antibodies" in time, or you may not be able to fight as much as you expected because there are too many enemies.

As a result, symptoms such as coughing and dullness may occur, and in some cases, it may become severe.

When you hit the vaccine, you will be able to make "antibodies" in advance when fighting the new corona.

By preparing to fight when the virus really arrives, you will be able to prevent infection, symptoms, and serious illness.

How many children are vaccinated?

In Japan, corona vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 began in February 2022.

As of April 22, 2022, more than 850,000 children aged 5 to 11 have been vaccinated once.

There are about 7.41 million children aged 5 to 11 years nationwide, so 11.5%, or about 1 in 9.

Nearly 460,000 people have been vaccinated twice, or 6.1%.

One in 16 people, one or two in one class.

(From the Prime Minister's Office website)

Overseas, there are countries where vaccines for children began earlier than in Japan.

For example, in the United States, 28.3% of the respondents were vaccinated twice, 3 out of 10 people, and in Canada, 40.7%, 4 out of 10 people, as of April 10th. ..

Should I hit it?

Do I have to hit it?

The situation is different for each person and each family.

So what should we think about when deciding whether to vaccinate or not?

The important thing is to compare "the good things that can happen by vaccination = benefits" and "the bad things that can happen by vaccination = risks" and think about which is bigger.

Benefits of vaccination include, for example, preventing yourself from becoming infected with corona and becoming seriously ill, not spreading the infection to others, and being able to spend your time at school with peace of mind.

The risks that may arise from vaccination are that there may be unwanted body reactions or side reactions after the vaccine is given.

(From the materials of the US CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In addition, there are still many infections among children, few children become seriously ill even if infected in Japan, and a virus called Omicron strain, which is increasing in Japan and around the world, is vaccinated. Experts say that it is also a point to consider that the effect of preventing infection is reduced.

Children can also get the corona vaccine for free, but parents do not have to try to get it, like measles, chickenpox, and Japanese encephalitis vaccines.

It is important to think carefully about whether to hit the vaccine by comparing the benefits and risks together at home, and whether it should be hit or not.

I will show you detailed data, including new ones, for you to think about.

How many children are infected?

In the week leading up to April 19, there were 314,370 people nationwide infected with the new coronavirus, from babies to adults.

Of these, 47,659 children were under 10 years old, 15.2%.

About 1 in 6 to 7 of the infected people.

Comparing the number of children by age group, the number of children under the age of 10 is actually the highest.

(From data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)

What happens when a child becomes infected?

More than two years after the corona infection began, 959,662 children under the age of 10 were infected.

Of these, four died.

In addition, the number of children who became seriously ill in the week until April 19 was four.

Even if infected with corona, most children are mildly ill.

However, even if it is mild, it may cause high fever, yes, or the back of the throat may cause difficulty in breathing.

A group of pediatric doctors (Japan Pediatric Society) says that children who originally have heart or lung disease are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill.

In addition, even if there are no symptoms, sequelae such as coughing and suffocation may continue after healing.

What is the effect of the vaccine?

What can you prevent?

In 2021, Pfizer actually vaccinated children aged 5 to 11 years to investigate.

After more than 7 days of hitting twice, the effect of preventing symptoms from corona was 90.7%.

However, it is known that the vaccine is not effective for the new type of coronavirus called Omicron strain, which is currently spreading.

A researcher in the United States announced on March 11 that "when we examined 1364 children aged 5 to 11 years who were vaccinated, the effect of preventing corona infection was 31%."

(American CDC published in a weekly report)

Later, in a paper published by an American researcher on March 30, when a child aged 5 to 11 years vaccinated, the effect of preventing the Omicron strain from becoming seriously ill was effective. It turns out that it is up to 68%.

Most of the severely ill children have not been vaccinated.

(American CDC and others published in the medical journal "New England Journal of Medicine")

It is difficult to completely prevent infection even if vaccinated, but it is effective in preventing severe symptoms such as hospitalization. ..

What are the side reactions after vaccination?

There may be side reactions after vaccination.

When the body's "immunity" remembers what the virus looks like, it can cause fever and pain in the vaccinated area.

What are the specific side reactions?

According to Pfizer's investigation, 74% of the first injections caused pain in the area where the injection was given, and about 7 out of 10 people had pain.

The second injection was 71%, which was also about 7 out of 10.

The number of people who felt tired was 34% after the first injection, and about 3 out of 10 people.

The second injection was 39%, about 4 out of 10 people.

The fever of 38 degrees or higher was 3% in the first injection, and about 3 out of 100 people.

The second injection was 7%, about 7 out of 100.

(From a paper published by Pfizer in the New England Journal of Medicine)

5 to 11 years old have a lower rate of adverse reactions than adults.

Most people have symptoms such as pain in the vaccinated area or difficulty in raising their arms, but it will subside in a day or two.

Is there a serious side reaction?

In rare cases, it has been found that some people develop "myocarditis," which causes the heart muscle to swell and become difficult to move after vaccination.

In Japan, as of April 1, vaccinations were given approximately 534,000 times between the ages of 5 and 11, but only one child had the symptoms of "myocarditis."

(From the side reaction review group of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)

In the United States, we vaccinate children before Japan, so we are investigating many side reactions.

The number of boys who developed "myocarditis" between the ages of 5 and 11 was 0 per million on the first injection and 4.3 on the second injection.

For girls, the first injection was too scarce to understand, but the second injection was twice per million.

Both were mild and recovered.

Also, according to a report from the United States, two children died after vaccination, but both of them were originally ill and were in poor health before vaccination.

There is no data to show that he died from vaccination.

(From the CDC explanatory material)

Is Corona's vaccine scary because it's new?

Corona vaccine is the world's first new technology vaccine that uses "messenger RNA".

"Messenger RNA" has been studied for over 30 years to be used to cure diseases.

"Messenger RNA" is a substance that breaks down quickly and is decomposed and disappears within a few days after vaccination.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also says that it will remain in the body and will not have any adverse effects.

It is also unlikely that the vaccine will cause illness after decades.

How do experts see it?

What do experts think about whether it is better to get the vaccine or not?

We asked Professor Tetsuo Nakayama, a pediatrician who is researching vaccines at Kitasato University.

"If you have an illness, such as going to the hospital with heavy asthma, you should get the vaccine. If not, think about your lifestyle and your family. If you have a lot of people gathering for lessons, club activities, or sports, you may want to get a vaccine to protect yourself. If you live with your grandfather or grandmother, your child You can protect your grandfather and grandmother by vaccination. Children have been vaccinated with various vaccines besides corona, and thanks to that, they are now able to lead a healthy life. For example, Only 1 in 1000 people get severe illness, encephalitis, even if they are infected. Still, they are all vaccinated and rarely get infected with asthma. Corona's vaccine, etc. Think of it the same way you think of vaccines in the world. To that end, I want you to be familiar with vaccines and infectious diseases. "

Details in "Asaichi" broadcast on April 25 (Monday)

Ask experts about the symptoms of a child's infection with the new corona, the concept of vaccination, and mental care while playing and school life are restricted due to the prolonged corona epidemic.

You can also see it on NHK Plus.