Vaccines for children 0-5 years old? The pediatrician: “Trial in progress, we await the results”

Ema (European Medicines Agency) and Aifa (Italian Medicines Agency) have given the green light to vaccination against Covid for children between the ages of 5 and 11. The administrations for them will begin on Thursday 16 December and now there is the possibility that they will be extended to the very young from 0 to 5 years approximately in the first half of 2022.

In recent days, it was anticipated by the president of Aifa (Italian Medicines Agency) and member of the Cts (Technical Scientific Committee), Giorgio Palù: “Moderna and Pfizer are already experimenting with children, but I think it will be a matter of a few months”. He explained this by speaking at Live In Courmayeur on Sky Tg24, observing: “I am not a diviner but it is likely” that in the first half of 2022 the vaccination for the 0-5 year age group will arrive “.

To find out more, we asked Dr. Luigi Greco, pediatrician and counselor ofOrder of Doctors of the Province of Bergamo.

What exactly do we know about the hypothesis of anti-Covid vaccination for children from 0 to 5 years old?

At the moment, the anti-Covid vaccination in this age group is being tested. We do not have the data yet, so we have to wait to learn the results: vaccines will probably be given to children from 0 to 5 years in the coming months but I think it is rather premature to talk about it now.

The Aifa president hypothesized that the vaccines could be carried out in the first half of 2022

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Considering the speed with which the regulatory authorities are proceeding and the trend of the spread of the pandemic, it is a compatible timing but until the studies are completed we cannot say anything.

Notwithstanding the waiting for the results, do you think it might make sense to vaccinate the 0-5 range too?

Vaccinating always makes sense, but to do it we need to have the right tools in hand. Trials are now underway and the safety and efficacy of vaccines in this age group will need to be assessed.

And consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks

This is what always happens before introducing a vaccine. Specifically, it must be considered that even children from 0 to 5 years get sick and those who are worse off are the youngest, under the age of one year: they are those exposed to the greatest risks also for Covid-19, as evidenced by the national data. They have the possibility of contracting the virus in a severe form.

Do we know what causes this greater risk predisposition?

It is probably related to the activity of the immune system and age. Compared to the elderly, the cases are numerically fewer but in the pediatric population the smallest are those most exposed to risks: vaccines are being tested because they too must be protected. Let’s hope the trial goes well and the vaccine arrives soon.

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