Risk groups among youngster should be vaccinated as soon as possible / No vaccination of youngsters and children to allow adults more freedom

“I strongly expect a positive recommendation of the EMA for the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 for 12 to 15-year old youngsters“, said Peter Liese, EPP MEP and doctor who worked in the paediatric department of a hospital before being elected into the European Parliament. Liese said that the EMA has enough data to approve the vaccine for this age group and that he had encouraged the EMA’s Executive Director, Emer Cooke, to prioritize the decision without compromising on any diligence or safety precautions.

“Youngsters that belong to a risk group due to being affected by the down’s syndrome, serious lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, cardiac failure or severe obesity must be vaccinated as soon as possible because they have a higher risk to have a serious condition when infected. The question if other youngsters should be vaccinated must be discussed carefully, because although the risk for completely healthy youngsters is much lower than for elderly citizens, the risk still exists. Achieving herd immunity and allowing adults more freedoms should not be the motivation to vaccinate children. Herd immunity (or, as I prefer to say, community immunity) should be achieved by vaccinating as many adults as possible. We need to keep schools open and prioritize education even if children are not vaccinated”, Liese concluded.

A clinical trial by BioNTech in 12- to 15-year-olds showed a statistically 100 percent protective effect against Covid-19 and no side effects other than in over 16-year-olds, where the vaccine has already been approved. A clinical trial for children aged 6-11 and children aged six months to five years will be conducted successively over the next few months. Results are expected in September at the earliest, initially for children 6-11. Moderna has conducted a clinical trial for adolescents 12-17 (Moderna's previous approval is for 18 and over, as opposed to 16 and over for BioNTech). The result was 96 per cent efficacy against infection and no side effects that were not also seen in over 18s. The marketing authorisation application for 12- to 17-year-olds is expected in the next few days. Moderna also plans to start clinical trials for children under 12 these days.