Corona vaccination for young children with increased medical risk / News

Children aged 5 to 11 with underlying conditions are offered a corona vaccination. In doing so, the cabinet follows the advice of the Health Council of 3 December. This concerns children with certain diseases such as severe asthma, chronic lung disorders or congenital heart defects. These children have a higher chance of ending up in hospital due to a corona infection. Vaccination with an adjusted dose of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to start from 20 December at the GGD at the invitation of the pediatrician.

Children generally have mild symptoms when infected with the coronavirus. If they have certain diseases, the absolute risk of hospitalization and ICU admission is still low, but higher compared to healthy peers. This is apparent from various national and international studies. There is also evidence that children with underlying conditions have a higher risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Children (MIS-C). This is a specific complication of the coronavirus in which an inflammatory reaction of the organs occurs. Finally, the Health Council states in the advice that children can also develop long-term complaints after a corona infection (Long COVID).

Invitation by pediatrician, prick at the GGD
Pediatricians are inviting children aged 5 to 11 for whom the corona vaccination is now recommended. The GGD has been asked to take care of the injections at the GGD vaccination locations. Vaccinations are expected to start from December 20, when the first 42,000 vaccines will be delivered by Wednesday, December 15 at the latest.

Customized Pfizer Vaccine Dosage
An adjusted dose of the Pfizer vaccine has been declared safe and suitable for young children by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Health Council also assesses that these vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 work well and are sufficiently safe. The vaccine is expected to protect them from disease as well as adults. This also applies to children with an underlying condition.

Effects
The side effects of the corona vaccination in children are mild to moderate, according to the Health Council. As with other age groups, side effects are seen more often after the second dose. No data are yet available about large-scale follow-up studies in young children. This means that it is not yet possible to make statements about any rare side effects that have been reported in young adults (under the age of 30), such as myocarditis and pericarditis. It is clear that for children the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis, but also of MIS-C, for example, is much greater when going through a corona infection than as a side effect of vaccination.

The Health Council will also issue an advice on the corona vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years without a medical high risk by mid-December at the latest. In this advice they include the ring vaccination of children who live in isolation because a housemate or family member has a serious immune disorder.

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