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This decision aid is designed to help you decide whether COVID-19 vaccination is right for your child. It will give you the information you need about the virus and the vaccine, and help you think about what the risks and benefits of vaccination mean for your family.
We have also produced a decision aid for adults. Switch to the Decision aid (16+ years): Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? if you’re interested in thinking about whether COVID-19 vaccination is right for you.
PhD, M Clin Science, Grad Cert App Sc, BHSc.
Jane is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She has an interest in health and wellbeing across the life stages, especially during pregnancy and childhood. Jane's current work looks at decision making, communication, vaccination and outcomes from infectious disease. She believes in sharing research to help parents make the best decision they can for their family. Jane is a member of the steering committee for the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI) group and the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA).
PhD, M Sc Med (Clinical Epidemiology), BSc (Biomedical)
Kerrie is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Emerging Leadership Fellow, and Senior Research Fellow with the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Kerrie’s research focuses on the social and behavioural aspects of immunisation and other preventive health behaviours, and their implications for policy and practice. Kerrie is a member of the World Health Organization ‘Measuring Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination’ (BeSD) Working Group, and a founding member of the Collaboration of Social Science in Immunisation.
PhD, MPH, Dip Health Sci (Nursing), Midwifery Cert
Julie is a social scientist specialising in vaccination. Her research focuses on how people make decisions about vaccination and how risk is communicated. She currently chairs the World Health Organization’s Measuring Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination working group. In 2019, Julie was named overall winner of the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence.
PhD, BSc Hons Psych, FAHMS
Kirsten is a Principal Research Fellow at the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney. Her research focuses on health communication and behaviour change. Since April 2020, Kirsten has expanded her work to include infectious disease and COVID-19 health communication.
PhD, MPH, BSc (Biomedical)
Holly is a social scientist whose work focuses on supporting vaccine uptake and other infection control strategies. She is the Deputy Chair of the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI). Holly is a member of the World Health Organization’s expert working group on the Social and Behavioural Determinants of Vaccination.
PhD, MBBS, FRACP
Margie is a paediatrician who works to improve vaccine uptake. She is the Chair of the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI) group. Margie is part of the COVID-19 vaccine safety, confidence and evaluation working group of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the steering committee of the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA).
PhD, MD, MPH, MHM
Abela is an early career health services researcher at University of Technology Sydney. She has an interest in refugee and multicultural health, immunisation and infectious disease. Abela also works to turn research findings into real-life outcomes for the community.
PhD, MBBS(Hons), MPhilPH
Lyndal is a General Practitioner with a passion for helping people to make decisions about their health. She is a member of the International Patient Decision Aids Standards (IPDAS) group. Lyndal works with several national and state agencies to support the rights of patients in Australian healthcare. She currently provides pro bono healthcare and advocacy to asylum seekers and refugees in Sydney. Lyndal recently retired from the University of Sydney.
Jess is a public health research fellow. Her work focuses on vaccine communication and strategies to increase vaccine acceptance. She is a member of the steering committee for the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI) and the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA).
Decision aids can help you make decisions about your health.1 They do three things to prepare you to make a decision:1
Decision aids do not direct you to choose one option over another.2
We developed this patient decision aid using the decision support format of the Ottawa Health Decision Centre at the University of Ottawa and Ottawa Health Research Institute, Ontario, Canada.1
This decision aid contains information relating specifically to children (aged 5-15). If you are making a decision about vaccination for yourself, we recommend that you use the Decision aid (16+ years): Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We used the best available research about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines to develop this decision aid. First, we looked closely at the research studies from around the world to find out what happens when a child gets COVID-19 or has the COVID-19 vaccine. Then we summarised this research for this decision aid.
Other countries approved the COVID-19 vaccine for children earlier than Australia, giving us good data to consult. For example, over 8 million US children have received a COVID-19 vaccine and we looked at all side-effects reported by parents, doctors and hospitals.
We will update this decision aid as important new research becomes available.
Dr Frank Beard
MBChB, BA, MPH, MHA, Grad Dip App Epi, FAFPHM
Frank is a public health physician who is Associate Director, Surveillance, Coverage, Evaluation and Social Science at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCRIS), and has a conjoint academic appointment as Associate Professor in The University of Sydney School of Public Health. He worked as a GP in Sydney for 15 years before undertaking his specialty training. His main interests are in the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable disease, vaccine coverage analysis and immunisation program evaluation.
Dr Ketaki Sharma
MBBS, MPH, FRACP
Ketaki is a paediatrician and staff specialist at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) and a Clinical Lecturer in Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Sydney. Ketaki provides scientific technical support to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and is also part of the New South Wales Immunisation Specialist Service (NSWISS).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare. The authors do not stand to gain or lose by choices made by any person who uses this decision aid.
The Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, and the National Centre of Immunisation Research and Surveillance funded this research.
April 2022. We will update this decision aid regularly.
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We acknowledge that the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is on the land of the traditional owners the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Australians, and recognise their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. Together, through research and partnership, we aim to move to a place of equity for all. NCIRS also acknowledges and pays respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations from which our research, staff and community are drawn.
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