Silver Spring / Berlin (dpa) – The approval of the Biotech / Pfizer vaccine from the age of 12 in the US continues to raise awareness of the corona vaccination of children and adolescents in Germany.
The US drug authority FDA approved the preparation of the German manufacturer and its US partner for children and adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. In Germany, the federal states want to draw up vaccination plans for young people within three weeks. The association of pediatricians opposed the series of vaccinations being considered.
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) confirmed that 12- to 18-year-olds in Germany should receive a vaccination by the end of the summer vacation. In the US, the FDA announced that the existing emergency authorization for administration had been extended from the age of 16. Bureau chief Janet Woodcock said parents and guardians can rest assured that the bureau has rigorously and thoroughly checked all available data. US President Joe Biden spoke of “a promising development in our fight against the virus”.
Before the United States, Canada and other countries had already approved the vaccine for 12-15 year olds. A corresponding application has been submitted to the European approval authority EMA. Head Emer Cooke said in the Handelsblatt that the agency had received a package containing information about the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds. “We started the exam on April 30th.” Currently the target for approval is June. “We’re trying to see if we can speed this up by the end of May.”
Federal and state governments announced last week that they were preparing vaccinations for children over the age of 12 during the summer vacation. The federal states want to develop – individually – concepts at the end of May. For example, invitations to vaccination centers or serial vaccinations in schools are possible. The federal government wants to provide the necessary vaccination doses. The first and second vaccinations of these cohorts require approximately ten million doses in Germany.
Pediatricians in Germany disapprove of serial vaccinations. “I consider massive vaccinations in vaccination centers or schools to be counterproductive,” said the chairman of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ), Thomas Fischbach, of the “Ärzte Zeitung”. Reliable advice is necessary. It is true that millions of people in the world have been vaccinated without significant harm, and children do not have an immunological structure different from that of adults. The association’s president said, “There is never zero risk.” Ultimately, it is always a risk-benefit analysis that must be made together with the legal guardian.
Spahn said that by the end of the summer vacation, all 12- to 18-year-olds could get an offer and get at least one vaccination, ideally both. Then school activities could start more normally after the summer holidays.
Biontech / Pfizer announced a few weeks ago that a clinical study in the age group 12 to 15 years in the US had shown an effectiveness of 100 percent. The vaccination was also well tolerated. The side effects would be similar to those in the 16 to 25 year old age group. Biontech and Pfizer are also investigating the effectiveness and safety of their corona vaccine in children between six months and eleven years old. According to its own information, Biontech expects reliable data to be available in September. Other corona vaccines are also currently being tested on children and adolescents.
According to Biontech, the dose for older children and adolescents is unchanged from the dose for humans from 16:30 micrograms. Biontech is currently evaluating doses between 3, 10 and 20 micrograms in a clinical trial for younger people between 6 months and 11 years.
Spahn encouraged older people not to refuse vaccinations from manufacturers Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson. “In fact, I can only appeal to people over 60 who have received an Astrazeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccination offer to accept it. The vaccines are very good and very effective, in some cases even more effective than Biontech, especially in older people, ”he said.