Asia-Pacific societies that have fared well in vaccinating their populations against Covid-19 – including Australia, Japan and Singapore – are now moving on to the next phase: immunising children. In Australia , children aged five to 11 became eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech “Cominarty” jabs on Monday. In Japan , where 79 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, the inoculation of this same age group is likely to begin in February. Although I am not a parent, I have been closely monitoring discussions of the topic as friends in Singapore have begun sending their school-age children for their first Cominarty jabs. Naturally, there is some anxiety. A friend who eagerly got herself inoculated as soon as vaccines became available in 2020 admitted she was more hesitant in deciding whether her seven-year-old daughter should take the jab. Like other parents, she too had questions about Cominarty’s use of the relatively new messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology, and whether it would have long-term effects on her child’s development. The good news is that global data on child vaccination thus far, while limited, is reassuring. Singaporean officials who this week took to parliament to reassure parents about the safety of child vaccines said the incidence among young people of myocarditis – a rare cardiac side effect arising from mNRA jabs – was 450 per million people. The city state began its roll-out of Cominarty vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 on December 27, and among the tens of thousands who had been jabbed by January 7, none had experienced a serious adverse effect, senior minister of state for health Janil Puthucheary said. Hong Kong panel suggests smaller doses of BioNTech vaccine for kids aged 5 While some point to milder Covid symptoms and the lower likelihood of hospitalisation among children as a reason for not vaccinating the young, it is important to factor in the effect of the more transmissible Omicron variant. As the Singaporean health minister Ong Ye Kung pointed out, even if a small percentage of children were to get very sick, that could be a significant number. Ultimately, it is for parents to weigh the risks and benefits of getting their child vaccinated. Thus far, regional governments have resisted putting undue pressure on parents to make a decision on vaccinating their children. In Singapore, authorities have underscored that the city state’s policy of granting greater freedoms for social activities to vaccinated people will not apply to children. That is the right approach – parents should be persuaded to vaccinate their children through moral suasion and science, and not by being browbeaten.