Afsané Sabouhi, edited by Clément Perruche
6:17 am, November 26, 2021, modified at
8:12 am, November 26, 2021
On Thursday, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran affirmed that the government was studying the vaccination of 5-11 year olds, but that it will be necessary to wait until 2022 for the first doses to be administered. Data are lacking to assess the benefits of large-scale childhood immunization.
On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency gave the green light for the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children between 5 and 11 years old. In France, despite an incidence rate in this age group which has exceeded 400 cases per 100,000 children, unprecedented since the start of the pandemic, their vaccination is not envisaged before 2022 and will remain optional, according to the ministers of Health and National Education gathered Thursday noon in a press conference.
Lots of unanswered questions
Unlike the United States and Israel, France has decided to delay vaccination for 5-11 year olds. This is because there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Do young children who tend to have mild forms of Covid benefit from individual protection from vaccination? Can the risk of a rare and serious side effect be ruled out when clinical trials are conducted on a small number of children? In fact, it is the American vaccination campaign where three million children have already been vaccinated since Thanksgiving that will give this information.
Problems of “acceptability of vaccination” for children
And when it comes to childhood immunization, the debate goes far beyond the question of effectiveness. As explained by Professor Elisabeth Bouvet, infectious disease specialist and member of the Haute Autorité de Santé, it is not only science that will make it possible to decide. “There are many other considerations to take into account, especially ethical ones. We have not yet pronounced on this vaccination which poses heaps of other problems, societal, of acceptability of the vaccination, of tolerance, of vaccination and which I think we will not give an immediate opinion, “she explains.
The debate is therefore postponed until the beginning of 2022, especially since it is also necessary to prepare logistically with vaccines to be diluted in the small doses recommended for young children.
Source From: Europe1