Recently, there is also an approved corona vaccine for small children. The Stiko now only advises some of them to be vaccinated. The panel of experts qualified an earlier recommendation.
The EU medicines agency EMA recently approved the vaccines from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna for small children from the age of six months. Now the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has made a recommendation: A corona vaccination is recommended
According to Stiko member Martin Terhardt, risk factors include being particularly overweight, congenital immunodeficiency, heart defects, chronic severe lung diseases, chronic kidney diseases, neurological diseases and tumor diseases. These groups correspond to about ten percent of the age group.
For healthy children of the age mentioned without previous illnesses, the Stiko currently does not recommend a corona vaccination, “because severe courses are very rare in this age group and the vast majority of infections in healthy children are mild or asymptomatic”.
The children’s vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer (Comirnaty), which was recently approved in the EU and has a lower dose, should preferably be used to vaccinate children from six months to four years of age. Three doses (at intervals of three and eight weeks) are necessary for a primary immunization. Two doses of vaccine are recommended for children who have already had a corona infection.
In addition, Stiko adjusted its recommendation for children under the age of twelve with contact to risk groups on Thursday: Previously, for example, relatives at high risk of a severe course of Covid 19 were considered a reason for vaccination.
This recommendation is now being “relativized”, writes the Stiko. “Current data show that the vaccination only protects against the transmission of the omicron variant of Sars-CoV-2 for a short period of time and that this protection against infection is not reliable,” it said. Therefore, the Stiko recommends an individual assessment, taking into account the parents’ wishes.
So far, most doctors and parents had waited for Stiko’s vaccination recommendation. The pediatrician Jörg Dötsch, President of the German Society for Child and Adolescent Medicine, said to FOCUS online: “First of all, it is of course very positive that there is now an approved vaccine for children from the age of six months. This is very important, because up to now it has always been the case that some parents, in great fear of infection – whether justified or not – have had their children vaccinated with vaccines that are not approved for the age group and have not been prepared in the appropriate dosage form. And that was not a good situation for the children. Now there is an approved vaccine that is specially made for the children. First of all, that’s very, very good.” He advocated waiting for the Stiko recommendation and taking it into account.
In the case of children with pre-existing conditions, however, the experts already thought it made sense at the time: “In the case of chronically ill children for whom a cold is already a risk, the approval is something very positive,” said the Berlin pediatrician Martin Karsten, for example, to the “Bild” newspaper.