Should children be vaccinated against covid-19?

For Angel Hernandez Merino, of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, the most important thing about a vaccine against covid-19 available for children aged 5 to 11 is “be prepared”: ​​“The first is to have it, then let’s see if you can to use “. This implies having “maximum assurance” that the vaccine is safe, “because it would be a matter of vaccinating healthy children” for whom covid-19 would moderately affect.

The first thing is to have it, so we’ll see if you have to use

Ángel Hernández, AEP Vaccine Advisory Committee

Francisco José Álvarez García, coordinator of the Vaccine Advisory Committee (CAV) of the AEP, warns that this association will only formally pronounce on this point after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has done so, which started in mid-October to evaluate the use of the BioNTech / Pfizer, Comirnaty vaccine, in children aged between 5 and 11 years old. Your decision is expected in about a month.

If the opinion is positive, “the pediatrician will always be in favor of protecting a vulnerable population if there is an effective and safe vaccine”, says Álvarez García.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they approved on November 2, the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11 years, in two doses – each with a third of the amount inoculated in adults – with an interval of three weeks.

“Similar to what has been seen in adult trials, vaccination has been shown to be nearly 91% effective in preventing covid-19 in children aged 5 to 11 years,” the CDC reported in a press release. In clinical studies, side effects were mild, similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. “

Factors in favor…

In the vast majority of children, the infection is mild or asymptomatic, but “there are also serious cases”, recalls Álvarez García. That would be, for the coordinator of the Vaccine Advisory Committee (CAV), the main reason for approval of vaccination in children, if there is a favorable opinion from the EMA.

In the vast majority of children, the infection is mild or asymptomatic, but “there are also serious cases,” recalls Álvarez García.

Furthermore, there is still uncertainty about syndromes such as persistent greed. “We’ve already vaccinated the entire population and are we going to leave children between five and eleven years old unvaccinated?”, he asks.

This specialist ensures that covid-19 vaccines can be administered along with other childhood vaccines.

As indicated to SINC Hernández Merino on this platform, indirect benefits may include the guarantee of on-site teaching. While it has been shown that infections at school so far have not been important in the pandemic, and that children are not good carriers of covid-19, their vaccination would help keep it that way in the future.

… it’s against

The possibility of adverse effects appearing so rare that they do not appear in clinical trials would be the main factor against Álvarez García. this is what happened to myocarditis in adolescents, detected by the pharmacovigilance system only after the start of vaccination.

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At this point the AEP remember on their website that “myocarditis and pericarditis occur very rarely after vaccination, but much more often if the natural infection is contagious from another infected person.”

Required for group immunity?

One of the factors that will be taken into consideration when deciding on vaccination for children will be its role in achieving mass immunity. Hernández Merino and Federico Martinon, Head of the Pediatrics Service at Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago – and responsible for one of the trials of the Comirnaty vaccine in children in Spain – highlights the lack of knowledge on this point, in part because there is still no solid data on it. how long does immunity last that provide vaccines.

Furthermore, “group immunity is not a static concept”, says Hernández Merino, which varies according to the proportion of the population immunized. For Álvarez García, the role of children can be important given that “they are 10% of the population”, and that in the age group between 20 and 40 years, 80% is still not reached with the complete guideline.

There is no doubt that, if children are not immune, they can become reservoirs of the virus and a source of infection with new variants. “This is one of the important factors in favor of vaccination”, says Álvarez García.

Priority over other pediatric vaccines not included?

Federico Martinón draws attention in an article in The voice of Galicia on the importance of other pediatric vaccines: “… there are other vaccines that are not yet on the national calendar, which provide them with more net benefits, such as rotavirus, meningococcus B or human papillomavirus in men. However, the child’s covid-19 vaccination could also protect a more normal and satisfying life, without the need for quarantines and with free cross-border mobility”.

More than 82% with a complete guideline for over 12 years old

In Europe, people over 12 years old can already be vaccinated with Commune (BioNTech / Pfizer) and with spikevax (Modern). The dose is the same as for adults. In Spain, more than 82% of the population between 12 and 17 years old already has the complete pattern.

In the US only the vaccine is authorized for the time being Spikevax from 18 years old. O approval in 12-17 years is still on hold since last June, after the US FDA asked for more safety studies.

And what about the Modern vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 years?

Modern advertised in a press release October 25, 2021 that a half-dose adolescent and adult version of their Spikevax vaccine administered to children 6-11 years of age showed robust results in terms of immunogenicity and reactogenicity.

Source: SYNC

Rights: Creative Commons.

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