The United States is leading the charge in the race to vaccinate young children. Many governments around the world are taking a more cautious approach.
In Mexico, the president says he won’t be held hostage by vaccine makers and there are no plans to inoculate under-18s except those at risk. Rollouts in many parts of Africa are so slow that children are not being vaccinated. Some governments are awaiting to see how the U.S. campaign goes before moving forward.
The U.S., where children between 5 and 11 are getting shots for the first time this month, isn’t alone: Children as young as 3 are being vaccinated in countries such as Colombia, Argentina and China.
The case for vaccination of older people and those with underlying medical problems has been clear. Real-life experience and trials have shown that recipients are protected from contracting the disease and from being hospitalized or dying as a result.
For children, who rarely suffer severe illness from Covid-19, the benefits accrue mainly—though not exclusively—for others: older people with whom they come into contact while infected and the broader population. Advocates of vaccination of children claim that it will help restore some order to schools and reduce quarantines.
Many governments have now decided that the upside—further reducing the minor risk of so-called long Covid and other consequences of the disease in children, and curbing the spread of the virus in the population—outweighs the risks of rare side effects.
In Colombia, 253 children—172 of them 12 and under—have died from Covid-19 in a population of 50 million, according to government statistics. “It’s not a number that is irrelevant,” said Health Minister Fernando Ruiz, adding that Colombia vaccinates children against diseases far less dangerous than Covid-19.
Marcela Guerrero, 37, said she didn’t think twice when she heard Colombian authorities were vaccinating children at a concert arena in the capital, Bogotá. “It’s our children’s health at play, and the most important thing is that they’re safe,” said Ms. Guerrero as her 5-year-old boy, Christopher, waited for his shot.
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children aged 5 and older use the vaccine, the U.S. has extended its vaccination campaign this month. PfizerInc. BioNTech SEFor children aged 5-11 years old. These children will be given two shots three weeks apart. Each shot contains one-third of what is used for adults and adolescents.
The United States has surpassed other European countries in vaccinating children. Across Europe, only children of 12 and older can be vaccinated—though doctors sometimes use their discretion to vaccinate at-risk younger children.
MORE THAN 140K US KIDDS LOST CAREGIVERS TO COLVID-19
The U.K. recommended most 12-to-15-year-olds get a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine—underlining how different jurisdictions are giving different dosage instructions. The government advised that the move was approved after initially resistance. It was decided that young teens should be allowed to vote.Other health risks include missing school because you are ill. Over-12s are eligible for two shots of Pfizer in the European Union. Moderna Inc. vaccines.
Australia and New Zealand also have resisted approval for younger children. Australia’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said Tuesday that Australia would await the real-world experience of the U.S. before committing to vaccinating younger children. He said that the U.S. clinical trials for this age group were “I must admit, rather small.”
Japan has approved shots for children 12 years and older. Government figures show that more than 60% of the country’s 12- to 19-year-olds have been fully vaccinated. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said vaccination of children 5 to 11 would begin after regulators review Pfizer’s application for that age group, filed earlier that day.
Israel has the following: Raced ahead of everyoneIn administering the Pfizer vaccination to its adult and teenage populations, the issue of vaccinating the under-12s has become a divisive issue.
Before beginning professional discussions that will determine the government’s policy, the country waited until the U.S. approved immunization of children. Public-health officials, as well as civilian advisers, have faced threats from Israeli parents and invective from their civilian advisors.
Some members of the government’s advisory committee felt they couldn’t speak freely without fear of reprisal, said Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, an adviser to the committee and a director of the infectious-disease epidemiology unit at the Sheba Medical Center. The committee voted unanimously in favor of vaccinations for young children on Wednesday.
Chinese officials approved the emergency use by Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd. vaccines for children aged 3-17 years in June. Since then, cities and provinces have been implementing the program for this age group. Beijing began to vaccinate children aged 3-11 years old in October.
SPIT RESEARCHERS COLLECT SPIT TO PREDICT KIDS COVID-19 SEVERITY
According to the Communist Party-run newspaper Global Times, vaccine experts from China are crucial for the country to reach vaccination goals. Herd immunity.
Children as young at 3 years old are being immunized in Colombia and Argentina with Chinese vaccines. Both countries have used Chinese and other vaccines against the disease.
Three studies provided by Colombia’s Health Ministry to The Wall Street Journal said the Sinovac vaccine was safe and that side effects, such as dizziness, chest discomfort and rashes, weren’t serious. Officials said they also relied on results from Chile, where the same vaccine is being used on children 6 and above.
The health minister, Mr. Ruiz, stated that the authorization to administer the Sinovac vaccine for small children was intended to prevent transmission as more schools reopen.
“It’s absolutely necessary that children return to classes because of the effects we’re seeing, like obesity, mental-health problems in children, loneliness syndromes, even abuse in families,” he said.
Cuban children as young as two years old are being vaccinated with a vaccine that was made on the island. Venezuela, which previously used Chinese and Cuban vaccines for older Venezuelans has now begun to vaccinate children as young at 2.
In Argentina, the health minister, Carla Vizzotti, announced the use of China’s Sinopharm vaccine early in October for children 3 to 11, saying, “It’s one of the safest vaccines.”
There, critics in the medical community say authorities haven’t provided enough information about the approval process. Roberto Debbag is president of the Latin American Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Buenos Aires. He stated that the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children with Sinopharm is increasing. Argentine health authorities didn’t return calls seeking comment.
Russia hasn’t yet authorized use of the vaccine for under-18s. Russian health officials stated Wednesday that the Covid-19 vaccine has been studied for adolescents. The results are currently being analyzed.
Mexico has been more vocal, stating it will not vaccinate anyone below 18 except for a small number of minors with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma and diabetes. Government health officials argue that since minors don’t normally get serious cases of Covid-19, they don’t need the protection from a vaccine.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said pharmaceutical companies want to scare countries into buying more vaccines, either for children or a third dose. “We’re not going to be hostage to that,” he said.
Mexico’s parents have sued the government for permission to vaccinate their children. A federal judge in October ordered the government to vaccinate minors, saying the policy violated Mexico’s constitution by discriminating against teens and children by blocking their access to a vaccine that was available to other age groups. The government appealed against the decision.
According to the health ministry, Mexico has officially recorded 1,110 deaths due to Covid-19 among people aged 19 and younger.
Because of the slow pace of rollouts, most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are not able to make a decision about whether or not to vaccinate their children. 6.3% are fully vaccinated in Africa. Many governments are still having difficulty getting shots to the most vulnerable citizens. Few have opened vaccinations to children under 18.
South Africa, which began vaccinations at the age of 12 by administering a single dose Pfizer vaccine on October 20, and Guinea, which announced it would begin vaccinating teenagers this week are just two of the exceptions. Unusually, in South Africa, parental permission isn’t needed for teenagers to get vaccinated.
Source: Fox News