Berlin. The chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko), Thomas Mertens, is cautious about corona vaccinations for children from the age of five. “The lower the disease burden in a group, the safer the vaccination has to be.” The situation in the USA is not comparable to that in Germany, Mertens continued.
“We do not yet have a database for our assessment and recommendation,” affirmed Mertens. First of all, approval by the EMA is important. “Stiko has not yet seen and evaluated the data from the registration study on safety and effectiveness.” It is clear, however, that such a study with fewer than 3000 test subjects could not record the risk of rare side effects.
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The same problem arises for the panel as before the vaccination recommendation for 12 to 17 year olds, said Mertens. “Children have a very low burden of disease from Sars-CoV-2. It is therefore important to carefully weigh the expected positive effects and possible undesirable effects from the vaccination against each other. ”Stiko will again carry out its own data analysis.
Mertens: The situation in the USA cannot be compared to that in Germany
For Mertens, the starting position in the USA is not comparable to that here. “Obviously, children there are significantly more likely to be seriously ill with Covid-19. This may be due to the local health system and the higher proportion of children with risk factors such as metabolic syndrome or poorly controlled diabetes. “
As with the twelve to 17-year-olds, the pediatrician spokesman for the first time anticipates a Stiko recommendation for chronically ill children and possibly an “optional rule” that also enables vaccinations for all other children. “The difficulty is that there is currently no experience of other countries.” Certain previous illnesses are considered risk factors for a severe course of Covid-19.
Great pressure from parts of the parents
Mask reported that there is a lot of pressure from some of the parents who want their children to be vaccinated as soon as possible. There are doctors who specifically offer vaccinations in so-called off-label use, i.e. even without approval for the age group. This is not illegal, but ultimately a question of security. Overall, Maske assumes that the number of people vaccinated in this way is very low.
It is to be hoped for the success of the vaccination campaign with children that politicians do not again put public pressure on the Stiko, said Maske. “This caused a lot of confusion among the 12 to 17-year-olds and cost us paediatricians a lot of persuasion.”
Sars-CoV-2 is currently detected in Germany in particular in children and adolescents. The seven-day incidence in 5- to 14-year-olds was given by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Tuesday at 207.4, and the trend is rising. Across all age groups, the RKI spoke of 113 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week, a week ago it was 75.1.