While the European Medicines Agency has cleared Pfizer injections for children over 12, countries are already vaccinating them. France is watching carefully what is being done elsewhere.
When is the children’s turn? While vaccination has been open in France to all adults without age criteria since May 31, young people over 16 should be able to access it in “A few days“, According to Alain Fisher, chairman of the Steering Committee for the vaccine strategy against Covid-19. The European Medicines Agency even gave the green light a few days earlier to administer Pfizer doses to children over 12 years old. An essential step for many epidemiologists who hope to ensure a much hoped-for collective immunity, with 90% of the population vaccinated, according to the recommendations of the Pasteur Institute.
If it is only a matter of days, it is up to each country to decide on when and under what conditions to open the doors of vaccination centers to adolescents. Germany, for example, with Romania, has taken the lead by announcing to welcome children over 12 years old from June 7. Still hesitant, seeking the right tempo for its vaccination campaign, the pace of which has accelerated this week, France is looking carefully at what is being done elsewhere, especially in the United States and Canada, whose vaccination has been open to young people for several weeks.
A quarter of young people vaccinated in the United States
After a vigorous vaccination campaign reaching 51% of the first-time vaccinated population today, the United States quickly opened the door to adolescents. From the beginning of May, the health authorities were in favor, first for 16-17 year olds and then for their younger siblings, over 12 years old. Of these, more than six million received a first dose, or 24% of American adolescents.
If the authorization was given to their Canadian neighbors at the same time, the government hopes to be able to administer a first dose to them by the end of June and a second dose before the start of the school year. To do this, buses and mobile vaccination centers have been installed in schools. Only children under 14 need the consent of their parents to receive the precious serum, their elders can make their decision independently. A new step, greeted by pediatricians who welcome the return of children to school and thus hope for the fall of masks in the classrooms. Others accuse the government strategy which has favored the injection of first doses to the detriment of the second, 52% of the population is first vaccinated against only 5% totally protected.
Text messages for Singapore schoolchildren
In southern Malaysia, on the shores of the China Sea, Singapore is preparing to vaccinate its adolescents over 12 years old from June 3. While the country has a total vaccination rate of 30%, young people will be able to visit vaccination centers to receive a dose of Pfizer. Each student or parents of schoolchildren will receive by SMS a unique registration link for a vaccination window. High school students will be first priority, said the Ministry of Education. Those who have not yet blown their twelfth candle on June 1 will still have to wait. The decision to vaccinate the youngest followed an increase in contamination, especially among minors in the city-state, which had to close its schools in mid-May.
A situation that the United Arab Emirates want to avoid, where vaccination for 12-17 year olds has been possible since May 23. The Emirati authorities intend to immunize its population, 40% of whom have received two doses in order to welcome new tourists this summer.
While these countries intend to achieve immunity as quickly as possible by vaccinating children, others remain more cautious. Yet in a position of sprinting in the vaccine race with nearly 60% of its population immune, Israel has only opened vaccination to young people over 16 years of age. Younger people will have to wait for the publication of a government-commissioned study to establish the risks. Doctors fear the development of myocarditis, an inflammation of the muscles of the heart.
These last “relatively few“And gravity”slight»Also hold the attention of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American equivalent of Public Health France. In their latest study from May 17, they note that these complications more often affect men, around the age of 22, usually four days after the onset of symptoms.