The Supreme Health Council gives the green light to Pfizer vaccinations for children aged 16-17.

Short-term side effects appear to be limited in 16- and 17-year-olds, according to the Council, but data are still scarce.

LThe Supreme Council of Health (CSS) recommends rapid vaccinations for all adolescents aged 16-17 with underlying medical conditions, according to a report released Thursday. The rest of the young people in this category should be vaccinated “in accordance with the methods planned by the target group for the general population,” knowing that the more we descend in age groups, the less individual benefit from vaccination.

This opinion is in response to a request from the Inter-Ministerial Conference on Public Health (CIM) for a CSS recommendation on the use of Pfizer / BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine in children 16-17, the only vaccine currently approved for this age group by the European Medicines Agency (EMA ) and the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP).

Short-term side effects appear to be limited in 16- and 17-year-olds, according to the Council, but data are still scarce. US health authorities and the EMA have approved the use of the vaccine from the age of 16 based on clinical trials of vaccine registration with the competent authorities.

Priority for adolescents with co-factors

For the adult population, the advisory body recommends that adolescents with co-factors be vaccinated first. Since the risk of hospitalization or death among young people is very low, vaccination will mainly help limit the circulation of the coronavirus – because young people have more social contacts – but not directly to reduce the burden on hospitals.

The concept of “informed consent” is important for 16-17 year olds (minors), CSS also insists. This means that “the active participation of healthcare professionals, parents and / or officials, schools, social actors, etc. is fundamental to providing all appropriate answers to their vaccination questions.”

Another argument in favor of vaccinating this age group is that the vaccine will reduce the stress associated with circulating the virus in schools and facilitate an easier return to normal for the education and training sector in general, for example, by limiting excessive enrollment. truancy and the need to close classes / schools in the event of an increase in incidence in the future.

However, is it “ethically” and medically acceptable to plan mass vaccinations of adolescents in rich countries when elderly and frail patients have not yet been vaccinated in the rest of the world? This question deserves to be asked “when a decision is made to mass immunize all children in certain countries,” he concludes.

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