Berlin (dpa) – Ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister’s vaccination summit today, there are further discussions on corona vaccinations for children and adolescents.
Although there are indications that the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) could not provide general vaccination advice for all children, there was a demand for a rapid vaccination offer.
WHAT THE VACCINE REVIEW IS ABOUT:
Chancellor Merkel and the prime ministers want to advise on Thursday (2 p.m.) on Corona vaccinations for children. The goal is to offer vaccinations to all children aged twelve and older by the end of August. Before that, the EU Medicines Agency (EMA) will likely have to decide next Friday on a corresponding approval for the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer, previously approved for ages 16 and older. The specific organization of vaccinations for adolescents, for example through schools or medical practices, and complementary vaccines should then be clarified. Other subjects of the consultations are possible booster vaccinations and the digital vaccination certificate.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
In case of EMA approval, Stiko reserves the right to clarify its own advice for possible vaccination advice. Your member Rüdiger von Kries does not currently expect general vaccination advice for all children. He had said on Tuesday evening that little was known at this time about the side effects of corona vaccinations in children. “If the risk is unclear, I cannot currently predict that there will be a vaccination recommendation for a general vaccination.”
The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurers (KBV), Andreas Gassen, was pleased with the signals from Stiko. When asked if he thought such a decision was the right one, he said to the Handelsblatt: “Yes. It would be very understandable if the Stiko did not provide vaccination advice. Very few studies have been done so far on the risk of infection in children. “
Medical President Klaus Reinhardt also sees a need for clarification. “The data on the risks and benefits of a possible corona vaccination in children and adolescents are currently so inadequate that no recommendation can be made,” said the head of the German Medical Association. It would of course be useful to be able to offer as many vaccinations as possible before the start of the next school year. “But we’ve always advocated a vaccination strategy that puts scientific fervor before speed.”
WHAT THE PROMOTORS SAY:
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach criticized Stiko’s considerations of recommending the Biontech vaccine only for adolescents with previous illnesses after the expected approval for 12-15 year olds. He told the “Mirror” that he would find it “disappointing” if the Stiko did not make a fundamental recommendation on the vaccination of children, shifting responsibility to parents and doctors.
SPD leader Saskia Esken is also pushing for a rapid vaccination offer for minors. “Children and young people have been living without much for over a year now and are mainly suffering from the limitations of the pandemic,” she told Funke media group newspapers. “If it is ensured that the vaccines are sufficiently effective and that there are no serious side effects, I therefore advocate making vaccinations available to children over the age of 12 and all parents as soon as possible.”
Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) of Lower Saxony reacted with incomprehension to the signals from the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko). “Children and adolescents can become infected and pass on the virus, so they should get a vaccination offer – provided there is approval, in which the benefits and risks are weighed,” Weil told the editorial network Germany (RND). “The fact that the permanent vaccination committee is suddenly questioning the significance of a comprehensive vaccination of schoolchildren basically irritates me and many other people as well.”
HOW THE COUNTRIES PLAN:
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health in SAARLAND said there were already internal preparations. A timetable and more detailed information could only be given if it was clear when vaccination of children from the age of 12 would be allowed. A spokesman for the most densely populated state of NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA made a similar statement. He announced that work is currently underway on the specification of the vaccination procedure. HAMBURG is also careful. “We will see what the EU says,” said Senate spokesman Marcel Schweitzer.
MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN wants to vaccinate at least 65 percent of its students from the age of twelve on time and has submitted an application to the federal government for the supply of 64,450 doses of the Biontech / Pfizer preparation. Health Minister Harry Glawe (CDU) said the Schwerin Ministry of Education would write to parents to determine how willing they are to be vaccinated.
HESSEN aims to get the students’ first vaccinations from June 28 to the start of the summer holidays on July 19. However, in addition to approval for the vaccine, the requirement is also Stiko’s advice. In addition, the state should certainly be able to count on the additional vaccine promised by the federal government, as the Interior Ministry announced in Wiesbaden. The students must then be able to register at a vaccination center or have themselves vaccinated by the pediatrician, youth doctor or general practitioner.
RHEINLAND-PFALZ also wants to decide whether and when children and young people can be vaccinated on the advice of the Stiko. “We are prepared,” said the new Health Minister Clemens Hoch (SPD) of the German news agency. “We could start immediately: in the vaccination centers and with the paediatricians.”
SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN has a similar view. So far, there is no EMA approval, nor a recommendation from Stiko – but both are important for a possible start of vaccination in children and adolescents. “Nevertheless, Schleswig-Holstein is preparing intensively and in close coordination with all concerned to be able to offer vaccinations for young people.”
Preparations for corona vaccinations for children and young people are already in full swing in SACHSEN. Serial vaccinations or vaccinations in schools are not provided, it said at the request of the health ministry. According to the information, the vaccinations must be given by general practitioners or in the vaccination centers.
A ministry spokesperson told BAYERN, “We are currently developing a concept to start these vaccinations as soon as possible after approval.” Various models are conceivable involving both doctors and vaccination centers.
According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, SACHSEN-ANHALT is currently developing the concept for vaccination programs for children and adolescents. Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) said the vaccination centers would be needed. ‘We cannot do that through general practitioners and paediatricians.’ After the vaccine is approved for this age group, vaccinations for school children are possible until the end of August.
Even before vaccines are approved, BREMEN is preparing to vaccinate young people against the corona virus. The youngsters are mainly vaccinated in the vaccination centers. Pediatricians and mobile teams in schools and leisure facilities should complement the vaccination campaign.
NIEDERSACHSEN said it was the first federal state to submit a draft to the Federal Ministry of Health for the nationwide vaccination of all school children from the age of 12 against the coronavirus. Health Minister Daniela Behrens (SPD) said all students should receive an offer for vaccination through campaigns in schools and vaccination centers. The vaccination campaign should start in July before the summer holidays.
BERLIN Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) expects vaccinations for children and adolescents to begin in the capital in mid-June. “We can start as soon as the vaccine is available.” This should be enough to initially offer about 65 percent of 12 to 18-year-olds in Berlin a vaccination offer. “We want to handle these vaccinations through our proven system,” said Kalayci. This included the vaccination centers and the doctors’ offices.
In BRANDENBURG, the Ministry of Health and Education has developed a concept for vaccinations for school children between the ages of 12 and 18. Decisive for the implementation are the approval of vaccines for children and the Stiko advice, on the other hand, the necessary vaccine quantities that are also required for this.
The state government of THURINGIA hopes that the corona vaccinations can start as early as June. The precondition is the early approval of a vaccine and a recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission. The goal is to offer 12 to 18-year-olds a first and second vaccination by the start of the 2021/22 school year, said Health Minister Heike Werner (Linke).
The state government of BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG wants to start vaccinations against the coronavirus for school children before the summer holidays – once a vaccine for young people is approved. “In close consultation with the Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Theresa Schopper and the federal government, we are right at home here,” said a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Affairs on Wednesday. Details about the vaccination campaign, logistics and distribution of the vaccine will be widely communicated shortly.