Starting this week, children from the age of five can be vaccinated against the Corona virus in many places. Many parents are happy with this, others hesitate. What should you consider when making a decision?
The vaccine is being delivered, and the Permanent Immunization Committee (STIKO) said: Vaccination against the Corona virus will begin this week for children aged five to eleven years.
What is he talking about vaccination?
The 7-day infection rate is currently particularly high in children. Without vaccination, most will become infected in the medium term, according to the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG). However, most cases of infection in children were asymptomatic. Without a previous illness, the risk of developing serious illness is very low.
In Germany, there have been no deaths from Covid-19 during the entire pandemic so far in children of this age without pre-existing diseases, Steco’s chairman, Thomas Mertens, said recently. Some experts argue that vaccination also reduces the risk of potential long-term and late effects of Covid-19, including MERS-CoV and PIMS.
In any case, STIKO has so far advocated only the vaccination of children aged 5-11 with certain pre-existing diseases. These include obesity, some chronic lung diseases, tumor diseases, and Down syndrome. It is also recommended for children who are in contact with people who are at high risk of contracting severe Covid-19 virus. These, for example, are immunocompromised or elderly people.
However, there is no general vaccination recommendation: according to STIKO, all other children of this age can be vaccinated after medical advice, provided that the child and parents wish to be vaccinated.
Do doctors have to comply with this “individual order”?
No, they don’t have to, explains pediatrician Jacob Musk, spokesperson for the federal press for the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ).
“Of course I can refuse if I am not convinced of the feeling of being vaccinated for the child sitting in front of me,” says a spokesperson for the Professional Association of Pediatricians.
According to him, what STIKO explains above all with the wording is the following: “We are allowed to vaccinate, but we have to inform the parents of the remaining risks of possible rare side effects that we may not know yet from the data available for it so far.” This applies to all From vaccinations in clinics as well as in vaccination centers or by mobile vaccination teams.
What side effects can occur?
Ultimately, the benefit of vaccination should outweigh its risks. It should therefore protect against (serious) disease and potential long-term consequences as much as possible and also reduce the risk of infection for people from an at-risk group.
STIKO justifies the fact that it has not endorsed universal vaccination of all children aged five to eleven years: the risk of rare side effects from this vaccination cannot currently be assessed “due to the limitations of available data”. Subsequent modifications to this Recommendation are always possible.
According to the CDC last week, more than five million children ages 5 to 11 in the United States have received at least one vaccination and more than 1.5 million have already received a second vaccination. So far, nothing serious side effects have been reported. The same applies to Israel and Canada, where at least tens of thousands of children were vaccinated for the first time.
At the end of November, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) set a positive risk-benefit ratio when approving the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine for this age group.
BMG Books: Serious side effects are not yet known, in the consent study many children showed temporary reactions to the vaccination for a day or two. These were injection site pain, headache and fatigue. Fever, diarrhea, and muscle and joint aches also occurred.
What distinguishes the children’s vaccination?
Compared to the traditional Biontech/Pfizer vaccine, the vaccine dose is lower (10 mcg instead of 30 mcg). The two necessary doses should be given three to six weeks apart.
What should you consider after vaccination?
The pediatrician advises Maske not to engage in any intense sports for a week.
BACKGROUND ARE: This is recommended for 12-17 year olds because we know from the data here that in very rare cases a vaccination can lead to myocarditis – so intense exercise becomes very dangerous.
Musk says such data is not yet available for children ages 5 to 11. “However, I do recommend this as a precaution.” Children should also be careful with their regular school sports the following week. Riding a bike to school, for example, is not a problem.