“It is very likely that children who have already had corona once have a smaller chance of becoming seriously ill than children who have not yet had it,” said Bruijning.
The Health Council of the Netherlands indicated on Tuesday that the omikron variant of the coronavirus is also dominant now makes sense to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 years. They can be vaccinated from the end of this month.
According to the council, vaccination protects children against the risk of MIS-C, a serious inflammatory reaction in the vital organs. “That is a very good reason to vaccinate,” agrees pediatrician Bruijning. “But if you already have immunity from a previous infection, that probably also provides protection, just like vaccination does. As far as we know, no cases have been described of children developing MIS-C after being re-infected,” explains. she out.
Effect on infections
Bruijning also points out that the vaccine was developed for a variant of the virus that is no longer circulating. “Up to and including the delta variant, this was not so problematic because the characteristics of previous variants still very much resembled the original ones, but that has changed with omikron. If you now give this vaccine, it does provide sufficient immunity to not get very bad anymore. get sick from it, but it does much less to prevent infections, for example,” says the pediatrician-epidemiologist. “And the effect on infections is probably only temporary, just like in adults where it disappears after a few months”.
The doctor thinks it is good that parents have a choice to opt for vaccination of their child, or to refrain from it. “Both choices are perfectly justifiable in the current situation. I do think it is important that they make the choice on the basis of complete information. That is why I want to pass on the distinction in risks between children who have or have not had the virus. .”