She said these are often questions for families whose children already have a health problem. The answer in most cases is that the vaccine is safe for healthy children, as well as those with diseases.
A pediatric infectious disease specialist, Dr. Mitchell works at Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Since 2017, the Foundation has been offering a free vaccination clinic to hospital patients and their families.
The clinic recently offered a COVID-19 vaccine for teens.
Once their questions were answered, the vast majority of families decided to get vaccinated, and the response was very positive.Dr. Mitchell says.
As of Monday, 20% of British Columbians over the age of 12 had already received their first vaccine.
There is no set age for informed consent
For minors, the issue of consent adds another dimension to the vaccination decision. In Quebec, for example, young people aged 14 and over can decide for themselves to be vaccinated.
British Columbia uses the mature secondary consent approach instead. That is, a young person under the age of 19 can consent to himself after being evaluated by a health professional, who has deemed him capable of making an informed decision.
In her evaluation, the doctor or nurse will make sure that your teen understands the need for treatment and what it involves as well as the potential risks and benefits.
Youth 9e So years can approve the vaccine on their own, and children can refuse the vaccine despite their parents’ consent, as long as they understand the risks associated with not being vaccinated.
In my practice, parents are the main decision makers in vaccination, however, explains Dr. Mitchell. Having said that, it is important to involve teens in discussions, which is why I try to answer their questions and concerns directly.
In cases where a teen hesitates or refuses, Dr. Mitchell refers them to their family doctor or pediatrician, who is in a better position to give them confidence.
Adolescents’ concerns should not be ignored, but rather listened to and directed so that they make an informed decision about their health. We want this to be a conversation.
Uncertainty arising from several sources
According to a survey conducted by Insights West last April (A new window)British Columbians were more sure of their desire to be vaccinated than the rest of Canadians.
About 54% of the population confirmed receiving the vaccine, compared to rates ranging between 37 and 48% in other governorates. The survey was conducted online from March 31 to April 5 with a sample of 1,603 committee members visions of the west and Leger Opinion across Canada. The margin of error cannot be calculated in such non-probability samples.
Alice Flerakers, a PhD student at Simon Fraser University, is not surprised by the level of uncertainty observed at the moment.
There are many reasons why people are reluctant to get vaccinated. Religious reasons, questions or concerns about effectiveness, or negative personal experiences with clinicians or researchers.
In early 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization had already listed reluctance to vaccinate among the top ten global health threats.
But the COVID-19 vaccine is different from other vaccines because of its novelty.
It’s new, and it’s always changing so it’s hard to communicate messages clearly, notes Alice Flyrakers.
This is a problem for the public, as there is a lot of confusion about vaccines and whether or not the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe.He adds the student specializing in scientific communication in public health.
Alice Flerackers also remembers the importance of not judging parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children.
She said it’s not that they are terrible parents. It is always driven by a desire to protect children.
To counteract a mistrust of vaccination, the best weapons are empathy and anecdotes, she remembers.
She says fear is not an effective strategy. But humor is very useful, especially in teenagers, it helps lower the level of intensity of the conversation.
In the end, the message remains the same, Dr. Mitchell recalls:
Vaccination is effective, get vaccinated, and talk to your doctor if you have any questions.