COVID-19

Covid: Academy of Medicine recommends not vaccinating all children

Anti-Covid vaccines shouldn’t be given to all children, but some of them should benefit from them, the French Academy of Medicine said Wednesday, taking a middle ground in the face of renewed controversy on the issue. “The National Academy of Medicine recommends extending immunization against Covid-19 through the vaccine (from Pfizer / BioNTech) to children at risk of severe forms due to comorbidities, regardless of their age, as well as to other children who live in their family and in the school environment, “he said in a press release that this body will supposedly bring the consensus of medical knowledge. The Academy, whose opinions are only advisory, also recommends vaccinating” children living in the environment of vulnerable adults , particularly the immunosuppressed and people with chronic diseases “.

This position arises after several days of controversy in France about the advisability of extending the anti-Covid vaccination to children between 5 and 11 years old, as the United States and Israel have already done. Currently, only those over 12 years of age can be vaccinated against Covid in France. The issue is delicate because individual benefits are a priori very limited for children: severe forms of Covid and, even more so, deaths are very rare among them. However, the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can occasionally cause cardiac inflammation, very rare side effects that must be weighed against the questionable benefit of the vaccine in children.

SEE ALSO – Covid-19: “We must accelerate the 3rd dose and vaccinate children from 5 to 11 years old”, for Dr. Gilbert Deray

A decision in early 2022

However, the arguments for immunizing children are also collective. Its objective would be to prevent the virus from circulating among them and, therefore, later among the rest of the population. European health authorities are reviewing the matter after receiving positive data from Pfizer and then Moderna. They testify to the absence of serious effects but on a sample of thousands of children, a priori insufficient to detect very rare but serious consequences. “If a decision has to be made,” it could be “at the beginning of the year 2022”, declared Jean-François Delfraissy, president of the Scientific Council, this Wednesday in France Inter.

In this context, several French pediatric and infectious diseases societies reopened the debate earlier in the week expressing their skepticism about childhood vaccination. “The urgency of vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11 does not seem evident at the moment in France,” estimated these authorities, including the Francophone Society for Infectious Pathology. This position, in turn, sparked outrage from supporters of childhood immunization. The militant association “School and forgotten families”, strongly opposed to “natural immunity through disease”, denounces a “betrayal” of children and calls for an analysis of the “benefit risk of the vaccine” for children.

SEE ALSO – Vaccination of children from 5 to 11 years old: “I think you have to be careful”, tempera Odile Launay

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