Covid Vaccine and Children
The guidance published by the UK ITP Forum is equally applicable to children as adults and can be found via this link – UK ITP Forum Vaccine Guidance.
In brief we are strongly recommending COVID vaccination for children with ITP who are currently eligible. Platelet fluctuations are not uncommon following vaccinations occcuring in about 7% however the risk of an acute drop would appear to be significantly higher with actual COVID infection. COVID infections seem inevitable in school and college for the unvaccinated. Infections can still occur in the vaccinated but are less frequent and generally much milder. Currently we have not seen any severe infections in our paediatric ITP locally in Manchester.
For those children with more unstable ITP or whom are on active medication to support platelet levels we would recommend discussion with the local ITP team. We are generally recommending a check FBC 2-7 days post vaccine especially for those on medication.
At the time of vaccination, if the platelet count is less than 30, we recommend taking a cotton wool ball and pressing firmly to site of vaccination for 5 minutes to minimise any bleeding.
Regarding children under 12years of age, this is now common practice in several other countries such as USA. I will reserve comment until I hear more from the vaccination committee regarding benefit.
Dr John Grainger - MBChB MD MRCP FRCPath - ITPSA Medical Advisor
15th December 2021