Vaccination offers for children and adolescents from 12 years to the end of the summer holidays – the goal is clearly stated. But is it realistic? Some hit the brakes.
Berlin (dpa) – The target for corona vaccinations for children and young people by the end of the summer holidays has been met with great skepticism in some cases.
The professional association of paediatricians described the plans as “too ambitious”. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) urged patience, as childhood vaccinations must be carefully monitored. In the meantime, the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurers has already asked for an exact timetable for such a vaccination campaign.
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had confirmed that 12- to 18-year-olds in Germany should be offered vaccination by the end of the summer holidays. In response to a DPA request, the EMA announced in May that it would decide to approve the corona vaccine from manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer for children from the age of twelve. The process could be accelerated in light of the progress of the evaluation and could be completed by the end of the month.
“In any case, we want to carefully check the data on the vaccination of children before general vaccination advice can be given for children,” said Stiko chairman Thomas Mertens of “Welt”. “Arguments currently under discussion, such as holidays, cannot be Stiko’s main decision-making arguments.” If the approval is granted for children aged 12-15 years, “children with pre-existing serious illnesses should actually be vaccinated first”.
The chairman of the professional association of pediatricians, Thomas Fischbach, has doubts about the schedules for corona vaccinations for children. After a possible approval by the EMA, he assumes that the approval of Stiko may take some time. “That is why I think the currently announced schedules with appointments in late summer are too ambitious,” said Fischbach of the “Rheinische Post”. “Ultimately, we want to vaccinate the children with an approved and safe vaccine. We don’t want an emergency permit and there should be no mandatory vaccination. ‘
The head of the National Association of Statutory Doctors and Health Insurers (KBV), Andreas Gassen, emphasized that the vaccination start for children and young people must be well prepared. “Otherwise, I’m afraid it will be delayed,” he told Handelsblatt. Young people need a clear perspective, for example for daily school life. In short, a vaccination campaign among children and adolescents can be set up quickly. Gassen sees not only the general practitioners, but also the public health service as responsible. “Together we can do this in a relatively short time,” explains Gassen. For example, serial vaccinations could also be organized in schools. “This is the only way we can vaccinate many young people at once.”
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