In other countries, young children have long been immunized against the corona virus, but in Germany the Stiko found it difficult to make a general recommendation. Now the board gives the green light.
She found it difficult to make a decision and hesitated for a long time. Now the Standing Vaccination Committee (Stiko) has given the green light for a corona vaccination of healthy children between the ages of five and eleven. In contrast to the vaccination schedule for other groups, they should initially only receive one mRNA vaccine dose, according to a statement by the committee on Tuesday updating the vaccination recommendation. The vaccination should “preferably” be carried out with the vaccine Comirnaty from Biontech in a reduced dose. According to the approval, Spikevax (Moderna) can also be used by children aged six to eleven. It is a final recommendation.
The vaccination recommendation is being made as a precaution because a renewed increase in corona infections is to be expected in autumn and winter, wrote Stiko. “The initially one-time vaccination aims to build up the best possible basic immunity.” If it should become necessary to improve the vaccination protection, this can then be done quickly with a longer vaccination interval between the first and second vaccination.
For the time being, children should only receive one dose of the vaccine
Such a longer distance would then provide “a better protective effect and longer-lasting protection”, it said. The probability of heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) after the second vaccination that may later be necessary can be further reduced by a longer vaccination interval in this age group, in which the risk is already much lower than in adolescents and adults.
So far, Stiko had only recommended corona vaccination for children between the ages of five and eleven if they had certain previous illnesses and were therefore at increased risk or if there were people in the area with a high corona risk. Up until now, however, every child has been able to be vaccinated on request and after consultation with a doctor. Children with previous illnesses should continue to receive basic immunization with two vaccinations and a booster vaccination, according to the Stiko in its updated recommendation.
Also updated recommendation for recovered
Children without previous illnesses, in whose environment there are people at high risk of a severe course, should therefore receive a basic immunization with two vaccine doses. “Healthy children who have already received two vaccinations should not be vaccinated again for the time being,” the experts said. The Stiko also promised that the question of whether it would be necessary to complete the basic immunization or a booster vaccination for children would be reassessed in late summer – or when the number of infections rose again.
Vaccination recommendations from the Stiko are considered the medical standard and are an important guide for many doctors. Until now, Stiko had justified the lack of a general vaccination recommendation for this age group by saying that there was a lack of data and that there was only a low risk of severe Covid 19 disease for healthy children. There has long been a general vaccination recommendation for children over the age of 12, and no vaccine has yet been approved for children under five.
In addition, Stiko also updated its recommendation for dealing with convalescents who are not yet fully vaccinated. Accordingly, people with one or more previous corona infections should also be vaccinated. An infection is therefore not enough to prevent future corona diseases.
According to scientific knowledge, solid protection against infection and serious illness is only possible by repeatedly dealing with the so-called spike protein of Sars-CoV-2. This is achieved either through basic immunization and boosters or through vaccination before or after an infection. A minimum time interval is important for adequate protection.