Sunday, October 17

Which countries are vaccinating minors against Covid? | Coronavirus

RReports suggest that the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization will soon authorize Covid injections for 16- and 17-year-olds, while continuing to limit injections for 12-15-year-olds to clinically vulnerable or living people. with people at risk.

The move will bring Britain more in line with the US and many other European countries, several of which have gone further by opening vaccines to everyone over the age of 12 and already reaching first hit rates of 40. % or more, although some others are more. cautious.


A woman holds a card that says
A woman holds up a cardboard sign that reads “Don’t touch my children” at a protest in Toulouse last month. Photography: Alain Pitton / NurPhoto / Rex / Shutterstock

France began offering Covid vaccines to everyone over the age of 12 on June 15 and more than 2 million children, roughly 40% of the 12-17 age group, have so far received a first vaccine. The move has sparked bitter disputes among some couples, prompting the government to remove the parental authorization requirement for older teens and, for those ages 12-15, to require single parent approval. Beginning in late September, younger teens will join those over 18 in need of a “health pass”, showing proof of vaccination or recent negative test, to visit cafes, entertainment venues and public events, take a long-distance train or participate. in organized sport. “Imagine a blockbuster movie with 400 teenagers in a cinema,” said Health Minister Olivier Véran. “It has to be the health pass or the total closure.” From the start of the new term, unvaccinated high school children will also have to move on to distance learning if a student in their class tests positive.


A nurse administers a first prick to a 15-year-old girl in a vaccination center in Gran Canaria
A nurse administers a first prick to a 15-year-old girl in a vaccination center in Gran Canaria. Photography: Borja Suarez / Reuters

Spain’s vaccination effort is led by its regions, so adolescent vaccination rates vary widely, with more than 40% of 12 to 19-year-olds receiving at least one dose in some, but only around the 1% in others. Catalonia, for example, said that only this week it would begin allowing young people ages 12 to 15 to book appointments for vaccinations. The central government has said it would like to vaccinate adolescents at least two weeks before the school year begins in September. Acceptance of the vaccine among the age group appears to be very high, according to Amós García Rojas, director of the Spanish Vaccination Association. But he warned of a “profoundly unfair situation”, calling for “a balance between launching the vaccine in developed countries and solidarity in supplying vaccines to developing countries so that all of this can end.”


Protesters against the Covid government pass in Rome
Protesters protest against the government’s Covid ‘green pass’ in Rome. However, vaccinating young people has caused little controversy. Photograph: Giuseppe Lami / EPA

Italy aims to vaccinate the majority of adolescents before the start of the new school year in September. The Pfizer vaccine was licensed for children ages 12-15 in late May, with reservations in most regions beginning in July, and the Moderna vaccine for children ages 12-17 was approved last week. A communication campaign to boost acceptance among teens has helped encourage nearly 35% of 12-19 year olds to receive a first injection, and 18.62% have received both. The measure has caused little controversy: Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist at the University of Milan, said last week that children should be vaccinated from the age of two. “They are also involved in the chain of infection and being vaccinated means that as they age, they will already be covered in case they contract the virus,” he said. “In this way, by involving children and adolescents in the vaccination campaign, we can achieve herd immunity.”

The Netherlands

Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge attending a Euro 2020 match in Amsterdam in June
Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge attended a Euro 2020 match in Amsterdam in June. Photograph: Koen van Weel / Reuters

Starting with older adolescents, the Netherlands began offering vaccines to those 12 and older early last month, and the decision to accept was left to the child, although children aged 12 to 16 are encouraged to speak up. with their parents. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said he hoped as many as possible would accept the offer to avoid schools having to close.


Sweden began opening appointments for minors this month only, and only for young people aged 16-18, and the 21 healthcare regions are scheduled to follow “for the next several months.” Until now, children ages 12 to 16 are only eligible under special conditions, such as belonging to a risk group or living with people at risk.


People line up at a vaccination center in Dresden
People line up at a vaccination center in Dresden. Photograph: Matthias Rietschel / Reuters

The debate is most heated in Germany, where Health Minister Jens Spahn said this week that children and adolescents may soon “decide to get vaccinated … and thus protect themselves and others.” However, the country’s permanent vaccination committee, Stiko, has so far only explicitly recommended injections for young people aged 12 to 17 if they are at risk, citing insufficient data on possible long-term effects. So far, 20% of the 12-17-year-old cohort have received at least one injection and almost 10% are fully vaccinated. Ruth Stein, who has three children between the ages of five and 14, said politicians were “unnecessarily pressuring parents before the new school year to vaccinate their children or else be accused of being selfish … Children generally don’t get the bad coronavirus, and they shouldn’t have to get vaccinated to protect the rest of society. ” Others are impatient: A father said he had not hesitated to vaccinate his two sons, ages 12 and 13, last month, although he had struggled to find a doctor willing to do so. “It is always more advantageous to have the vaccine and avoid the disease,” he said. “There is little evidence to support fears of long-term effects, despite all the noise from social media.”

The United States

A Covid Vaccination Site at the University of Memphis
A Covid vaccination site at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. The reach of adolescent vaccines was halted in the state after a backlash. Photograph: Karen Pulfer Focht / Reuters

In the USA, about 40% of 12-17 year olds have received at least one dose of vaccine. Acceptance was initially strong, with around 600,000 teens receiving their first shot in the week after the Pfizer / BioNTech injection was authorized for 12-15 year olds, but it has slowed after reports linked the vaccine with rare cases of myocarditis. or inflammation of the heart muscle, in young people. It has also been a victim of the country’s politicized climate: The Tennessee Department of Health made headlines after a backlash from some lawmakers caused the entire scope of adolescent vaccines to be halted. The Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend that everyone over the age of 12 get vaccinated. “When I see states across the country and some governors saying they are not going to promote vaccines for these children, I find it extremely discouraging, because there is an opportunity to protect those children and the people who have contact with those children,” he added. his former acting director Richard Besser told CNN.

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