A medical worker administers a dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 coronavirus to a school student at a vaccination centre in southern Thailand's Pattani province on October 7, 2021 Photo: AFP/File
health

COVID vaccines for kids? Strategies around the world

23 Comments
By Paul RICARD

Pfizer last Thursday requested emergency approval from U.S. health authorities to use its COVID jab in children aged five to 11.

Here is a look at different approaches to vaccinating children against the virus and the debates it has launched around the world.

What changes are made for children?

Pfizer tested its jab on more than 2,000 U.S. children aged five to 11 and submitted results to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.

The dosage for children in that age range is a third of what it is for adults: 0.1 mL rather than 0.3 mL.

Pfizer and BioNTech say children in trials reacted well to the vaccine and that their immune response was "robust" and "comparable" to that observed in older adolescents and young adults aged 16 to 25.

If the FDA grants authorization when it convenes on Oct 26, children in that age range –- of whom there are some 28 million in the U.S. -- could start getting vaccinated by the end of the month.

Are other countries doing this?

While many countries have begun vaccinating adolescents aged 12 and older very few have extended jabs to children younger than that.

On Sept 15 Cuba began administering doses of its Abdala and Soberana vaccines -- which are not approved internationally -- to children aged two to 11 years.

Also in mid-September Cambodia began vaccinating kids aged six and up with the Chinese Sinovac jab.

Sinovac has been approved for adults in more than 50 countries but before Cambodia only China had authorized its use in children over three.

Sinovac has also launched clinical trials of its jab in 14,000 children aged six months to 17 years old in Chile, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines and in South Africa.

In early August the United Arab Emirates started offering Sinopharm, another Chinese jab, to children aged three to 17.

Venezuela announced in September that it would start vaccinating children and adolescents aged three to 18 in October.

In Israel children aged five to 11 with complicating health factors -- such as chronic lung illnesses, autoimmune diseases or neurological problems -- have been able to get vaccinated since the end of July.

What is the argument against?

Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist advisor to the French government, told AFP that the major question is whether the risk posed by COVID to children in this age range outweighs the risk of potential jab side effects.

For children in America the threat of severe COVID is elevated, he said.

"The risk of hospitalisation for an infected child there is 10 times higher than for a child in western Europe," he said, citing the prevalence of preexisting conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Fontanet said that in southern U.S. states where vaccination rates are low, pediatric services in hospitals are stretched thinly.

The situation that could push U.S. authorities to quickly approve jabs for younger children.

Will more kids get jabs?

The last few months have seen the World Health Organization (WHO) hammer home the importance of getting poorer adult populations vaccinated before extending jabs to children in rich countries.

In its global vaccine strategy published on Oct 7, the WHO said whether young children need to be get jabs depends on how the virus evolves and on proven vaccine safety in that age group.

Fontanet says western European countries will be "much more hesitant" than the United States to lower the age range for vaccination.

He cites current data that shows infections are relatively benign in children aged five to 11, even with the now-dominant Delta variant.

Vaccination rates among the elderly are also rising, he added, which reduces the risk of that fragile population being contaminated by infections in young children.

Fontanet also notes that parents of children in that age group tend to show more resistance to vaccines.

"We always expect parents to be a little more hesitant," he said.

Getting millions of American children jabs means an opportunity to observe any side effects that may have escaped detection in clinical trials.

"It's really in our best interest to not rush and look at the data that will come from large-scale vaccination of children in the U.S.," Fontanet added.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


23 Comments
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They've suspended it due to some nasty adverse reactions that the mainstream media is normally reluctant to report on.

Then as evidence posts a link from msn.com.

Ok.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Not for my kids.

thats fine but theyll still be wearing masks in J schools whether you like it or not.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Champagne journalism again from AFP.

In yet another advertorial for vaccinating kids who are at minuscule risk, the writer pretends to present an argument against jabbing kids in the name of "balance":

What is the argument against?

Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist advisor to the French government, told AFP that the major question is whether the risk posed by COVID to children in this age range outweighs the risk of potential jab side effects.

For children in America the threat of severe COVID is elevated, he said.

"The risk of hospitalisation for an infected child there is 10 times higher than for a child in western Europe," he said, citing the prevalence of preexisting conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Fontanet said that in southern U.S. states where vaccination rates are low, pediatric services in hospitals are stretched thinly.

The situation that could push U.S. authorities to quickly approve jabs for younger children.

A quick glance reveals there's no argument at all presented against vaccinating kids, just a mention of a vague question followed by more more words of support for jabbing them.

Honest journalism in the mainstream media is as good as dead.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Provisionally approved vaccines, with no long term health data, for a cohort that has zero chance of dying or being hospitalised by Covid??? Absolute insanity! No chance of healthy kids dying from covid. Let them gain natural immunity which will contribute to herd immunity going forward!

"The risk of hospitalisation for an infected child there is 10 times higher than for a child in western Europe," he said, citing the prevalence of preexisting conditions like obesity and diabetes. ( the real and only cohort along with the elderly, that should be targeted with vaccination)

The kids at high risk is understandable but no chance for normal healthy children!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Honest journalism in the mainstream media is as good as dead.

They give the argument, and continue by presenting how this is not the same in every place, in many places of the US this low rate of cost/benefit do not apply and clearly justify the vaccination. The problem is that the article says things you do not like, but a false balance where false or misleading information is put opposite of truthful objective data is not valid.

Provisionally approved vaccines, with no long term health data, for a cohort that has zero chance of dying or being hospitalised by Covid???

One, children do die from COVID, so the chance is not zero, that would be a lie, and also there is zero long term health data for COVID either, and the infection is the one that has been correlated with permanent health problems, nothing surprising from a viral disease. So your argument works more for vaccination than against.

The kids at high risk is understandable but no chance for normal healthy children

That is the thing, normal healthy children can have also health problems and even die from the infection, which means the vaccine can be justified even for them as long as it demonstrates it is safer. How many children do you imagine die every year of cervical or hepatic cancer? and yet, they are vaccinated to prevent those problems without any problem. Pretending a viral infection has no possibility of increasing risks later in life and that the vaccine can't be safe for them, even if the data says the opposite, is just being irrational.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

You did read the word "normally," right?

That's why I posted the link - because it's abnormal.

Oooh so what’s the reason?

Why are Microsoft now ‘allowing’ anti-vaccine news? It’s a conspiracy, right?

Yes, I read the word ‘normally’.

I read a lot so I have read a lot of msm/big media/whatever you are calling it today, reporting on vaccine reactions.

The only abnormality is in the cherry picking. But that’s clear as day.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

To all you antivaxxers saying "not my kids". Since you have had your say... I also have my say... all my kids will be vaccinated.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If a child is healthy, the risk of the vaccine outweighs the risk of the virus.

You keep repeating this claim without offering any evidence for it, the risk from the vaccines is extremely low also for children, much more than the risk from COVID, that do not include only death but also other long lasting health problems.

The children’s market is hugely lucrative

Not even comparable with the market of letting people get a disease that can require expensive treatment for long time. Vaccines in comparison are a terribly cheap alternative. Children have been vaccinated for things that kill no child since a long time ago, there is absolutely nothing surprising that a vaccine that proved to be safe and effective could eventually be used to protect them the same as the previous ones.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Ronin

She reported that in the last 5 years in Canada more under 20 yr old patients died of influenza infection than Covid-19, roughly 40 vs 8 per year (over the last 5 years vs the last year, respectively)

That seems like...a bizarre comparison to make? Yes, during a time when people were in close-contact and not wearing masks they got sick more and consequently died from influenza more.

Fun fact: social distancing, washing hands, and mask-wearing will help prevent other illnesses too! Not only covid. You, and those around you, might notice a marked decrease in sickness since these measures have started. I usually catch a cold maybe once per year, and haven't been sick since this all started.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

AddfwynToday  10:25 am JST

Lots of people seem oddly resistant to vaccinating kids despite that being the age we usually vaccinate people for everything else.

The Cuban results have seemed very positive so far, and they were one of the first countries to really roll out younger vaccinations, definitely worth keeping an eye on how they progress.

Might want to ask the Scandinavians how safe the Moderna one is for youngsters. They've suspended it due to some nasty adverse reactions that the mainstream media is normally reluctant to report on.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/sweden-suspends-moderna-vaccine-for-those-30-and-under/ar-AAPcl0G#comments

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

thats fine but theyll still be wearing masks in J schools whether you like it or not.

yeah, but, he can still imagine a scenario where someone will be holding a gun to his head and he says no and dies leaving his family orphaned rather than taking the vaccine.

He was very clear on that freedom yesterday.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

700,000 plus deaths associated even peripherally with Covid, less than 0.1% were kids and adolescents from 0 to 18 years of age.

That still means close to 1000 deaths that could be prevented if the vaccines are safe and effective for this population, and also death is not the only negative outcome from getting the infection. It should also be considered that many children that are specially vulnerable to respiratory infections (and their siblings) have had to live a very constricted life these past months so they won't become part of the death statistics, a vaccine can make many of them go back towards a more normal life.

Dr.. Rochagné Kilian, an ER doctor in Owen Sound, Ontario, recently resigned in protest of mandatory vaccines and the corruption of Canada's health services

The problem? she uses a terribly misleading treatment of the data, which makes her point totally invalid. Comparing influenza over a time without social distancing measures with COVID while under intense social distancing measures is like comparing a punch to the head without any protection vs a hammer to the head but with a helmet. "Demonstrating" the punch did more damage is too obviously trying to manipulate people.

Why don't she ask why children are given vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer? or liver cancer? no children die from those either. You can't get risk lower than that.

As an aside, did anyone notice the change in handle of Virus_rex to virusrex, as well as the avatar color change from red to black?

Are you confused between users? or just like to imagine things?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That seems like...a bizarre comparison to make? 

That is because the actual comparison between equal periods proves exactly the opposite of what she wants to say, so weird data contortionism becomes necessary to pretend false things are true.

Straight numbers of course makes obvious that COVID is more dangerous than influenza, even for children.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/03/02/children-flu-deaths/

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not for my kids!

If a child is healthy, the risk of the vaccine outweighs the risk of the virus.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Consider that, of the 700,000 plus deaths associated even peripherally with Covid, less than 0.1% were kids and adolescents from 0 to 18 years of age. So it seems radically unnecessary.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

No, No, No!

Dr.. Rochagné Kilian, an ER doctor in Owen Sound, Ontario, recently resigned in protest of mandatory vaccines and the corruption of Canada's health services. Look her up. She reported that in the last 5 years in Canada more under 20 yr old patients died of influenza infection than Covid-19, roughly 40 vs 8 per year (over the last 5 years vs the last year, respectively). Importantly, 80% of her ER patients over the last 3-4 months that came in with new symptoms were double vaxxed. She only asked them as she was aware of the controversy of the efficacy of the "vaccine" and there was no direction by the hospital administrators to ask the question with the standard questionnaire asked upon admission. In fact, the patients seemed to be vainly proud that they were doubly vaxxed! How ironic but understandable in view of the slanted news we are inundated with.

In short, she asks why would anyone give vaccines to children if they are at low risk of Covid in the first place? Of course, this also connects to what will be happening to them later on his life as per her other comments that her recent ER patients are 80% vaxxed. She goes on to say that the only thing different in their lives was taking the vaxxine, which is really just an experimental biologic, ie, type of gene therapy.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

No, not for mine.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Lots of people seem oddly resistant to vaccinating kids despite that being the age we usually vaccinate people for everything else.

The Cuban results have seemed very positive so far, and they were one of the first countries to really roll out younger vaccinations, definitely worth keeping an eye on how they progress.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

To those who those who click " - " on the above did you even go and do some research? I fully realize each side has its talking points but the interview with Dr. Killian seemed legit. As an American, I am neither pro-Trump or pro-Biden, just pro-freedom and espouse both liberal and conservative views depending on the subject at hand. But I staunchly disagree about forcing not only children to get this biologic therapy, but also all those in the work force, by firing them if they refuse. There is clearly a hidden agenda here and one that forebodes very ominously for the future.

As an aside, did anyone notice the change in handle of Virus_rex to virusrex, as well as the avatar color change from red to black?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Thanks but no thanks. My kids are fine.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Also not for my son

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Then as evidence posts a link from msn.com.

You did read the word "normally," right?

That's why I posted the link - because it's abnormal.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Not for my kids.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

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