In the United States, Covid infections among the youngest have increased by 32% and in Israel half of the new cases are in children. Italy is awaiting the opinion of the EMA in order to proceed with the vaccination of the age group 5-11, but there is no shortage of advances
To vaccinate children against Covid or not? The answer should now be a matter of days. The European Medicines Agency (Ema) announced recently that it would give its opinion next Monday, November 29, but Giorgio Palù, president of the Italian Medicines Agency (Aifa), does not rule out that it could be anticipated.
Meanwhile, the United States and Israel ( but not only ), have already started vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11 and Italy has no intention of being caught unprepared. Indeed, the Ema response has not yet arrived that there is already talk of vaccination obligation for the little ones. But Aifa and the Ministry of Health seem to be on two different positions.
WHAT HAPPENS IN ITALY
Italy is already ready at the starting blocks. "The EMA could anticipate a decision already between today and tomorrow", Palù told SkyTg24 and, in this case, the administration to the little ones could also start from Monday. As the Aifa President explained, after the EMA decision, "AIFA decision can arrive within 24 hours".
WILL IT BE A CLASH BETWEEN AIFA AND THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH ON THE VACCINATION OBLIGATION FOR CHILDREN?
Palù, according to Agi reports, would not exclude the obligation of the anti Covid vaccine for the 5-11 year old age group. “This is – he explained to SkyTg24 – an assessment that will be made progressively, weighted with risks and benefits”.
The Undersecretary of Health Pierpaolo Sileri, however, has made it known that the vaccine for children will not be mandatory . "Membership", writes SkyTg24 , "will take place on a voluntary basis, but it is still very important". This virus, said Sileri, "it is better not to meet it in any age group and, if you really have to meet it, it is better to meet it when vaccinated".
INFECTIONS AMONG CHILDREN IN ITALY
Palù then recalled that the numbers are changing even among the little ones: “If before 2% of children contracted the infection with the Alpha variant, today we are reaching 25-30%. The data from the epidemic are telling us that the 4 to 11 year old category has the highest number of incident cases. There are hospitalized children who do not have concomitant pathologies, there are children who develop a multisystemic inflammatory syndrome, ie various organs ”.
WHAT HAS CHANGED
According to Palù, children are now more exposed to the virus due to the Delta variant: “Let's look at the incidence: last year the children were not infected, they transmitted very little. Now the situation is different: the virus also infects children, even if they do not get very sick. A risk-benefit assessment must always be made ".
EFFECTIVENESS AND SAFETY OF VACCINES
"The risk of infection – concluded Palù – is becoming much higher than the risk of the vaccine, which does not exist in the studies".
Even the president of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss) Silvio Brusaferro reassured about vaccines : “They all pass very rigorous tests and evaluations. They are safe and effective, they are not experimental products ".
THE OPINIONS OF MAGRINI (AIFA) AND LOCATELLI (CTS)
The director of AIFA Nicola Magrini also agrees with him: "The vaccine for children will not be presented as a gesture of altruism to curb the circulation of the virus: it is important to protect themselves".
This is echoed by the coordinator of the Scientific Technical Committee, Franco Locatelli, who argues that children should be vaccinated "to protect them from severe or prolonged forms – rare but present – in order to guarantee school attendance and to protect their social spaces".
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE UNITED STATES
In the United States, where on October 29 the Food and Drug Administration (Fda) gave the green light to the administration of Pfizer's vaccine also in children between the ages of 5 and 11, the association of American pediatricians has communicated that this week Covid infections among the youngest have increased by 32% compared to two weeks ago.
For the fifteenth consecutive week, according to the association's website, the cases among children are more than 100,000. Since the onset of the pandemic, children have accounted for 16.9% of all cases.
AND IN ISRAEL?
Even in Israel yesterday the authorization to vaccinate children arrived and, according to what reported by SkyTg24 , thousands of appointments have already been booked. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wanted to reassure the most concerned parents : “I am aware that there is a certain sensitivity on this issue. There are many people who are afraid to vaccinate children and these are not necessarily no-vaxes or those who believe in conspiracy theories. My response to these concerns is total transparency ".
The decision to follow in the footsteps of the United States came at a time when data from the Israeli Ministry of Health show that many of the new infections affect children and adolescents, particularly in the age group 5-11, who make up almost half of the currently infected in the country.
THE RESULTS OF PFIZER
According to a study conducted by Pfizer in 2,268 children between the ages of 5 and 11, its vaccine is nearly 91% effective in protecting against infection, and temporary side effects are arm pain or fever. However, the dosage administered is lower than that of adults: for children the dose is 10 micrograms instead of 30. The two injections are made 21 days apart.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/sanita/stati-uniti-e-israele-vaccinano-i-bambini-litalia-imporra-lobbligo-anti-covid/ on Wed, 24 Nov 2021 12:29:21 +0000.