Berlin/Munich (dpa) – Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has defended the planned additional corona vaccination options for children and young people aged 12 to 17 against criticism.
It is about a more rapidly available supply than before, because there is enough vaccine to protect yourself, the CDU politician said on rbb information radio on Tuesday. “Who wants, can get vaccinated – nobody has to.” If parents and kids said they wanted to wait for more data, that was okay and no problem. “It’s emphatically not about exerting pressure, we don’t do that either.”
Spahn opposed constructing a contradiction with the Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) in the debate. The decision of the federal and state governments is “fully in line with the Stiko”. So far, the committee has not recommended vaccinations for children in general, but only if there is a higher risk of more serious corona treatments, for example due to diseases such as diabetes. According to Stiko, vaccinations are possible with medical advice. The vaccines from Biontech and Moderna are approved for children aged 12 years and older in the EU.
Spahn stressed that more than 900,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 had already been vaccinated at least once, equivalent to about 20 percent of this age group. Health ministers decided on Monday to offer vaccinations for 12 to 17-year-olds in vaccination centers in all countries – as is already possible in medical practices. Spahn said he could only wish as many families as possible would consider this for themselves now. In view of the more contagious strain of the Delta virus, the general rule is, “Either you get infected without vaccination protection, or you have vaccination protection.”
Given the generally lower vaccination coverage in Germany, Spahn again promoted the possibilities for people to get vaccinated easily and casually. He also referred to the hundreds of millions of corona vaccinations now available in the world. There should not be a vaccine that has been vaccinated more often and is therefore known for its side effects. When in doubt, vaccination is the safer decision.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved both Biontech/Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and Moderna’s vaccine for children and adolescents aged 12 years and older. In Germany, the independent Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) does not recommend vaccinations for children in general, but only if there is a higher risk of more serious corona cures, for example from diseases such as diabetes – but they are possible with medical advice.
De Stiko justified its position, among other things, with the data situation, which in its opinion has not been sufficient to exclude possible consequential damage. However, in other countries, such as Israel, vaccination campaigns for children and young people are already underway. SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach recently held an “outsider position” for the Stiko on Deutschlandfunk.
The ministers’ resolution on Monday emphasized that if children and young people are vaccinated, medical information and, if necessary, a yes from the guardian is necessary. The offers must be designed in such a way that the “voluntary nature of acceptance” is not called into question. Implementation is up to the federal states. Vaccination rates in Germany have recently fallen and the number of infections has increased.