Should you vaccinate children? Advantages and disadvantages in the check
Does it make sense to vaccinate children against corona? We explain the advantages and disadvantages in an overview.
If you ask yourself whether you should vaccinate children against Corona, you get different answers so far – depending on whether you ask experts, politicians or the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO). Again mirror reports For example, the STIKO considers the data on possible side effects of a corona vaccination in children to be too low to speak out in favor of a vaccination. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, however, considers vaccination of children with a view to the beginning of the new school year to be necessary.
Possible advantages of a vaccination in the check
These advantages of vaccinating children against Covid are often mentioned. We explain what is behind it here.
1. Protection against Long-Covid and PIMS
How taz.de reports, according to the virologist Christian Drosten, many sick children now also suffer from the so-called long covid. According to this, around 4.5 percent of those affected still have to struggle with symptoms such as loss of smell and taste as well as fatigue after a month even after a mild course of the disease. In addition, according to the statistics, the multisystemic inflammatory syndrome PIMS now also occurs in one in several thousand children after an infection. This condition can be severe and last up to six months. Drosten said he would have his child vaccinated.
2. Herd immunity cannot be achieved without children
Christian Drosten led a study according to which children and adolescents are just as contagious as adults. In order to achieve herd immunity, it is therefore essential to include the children. However, not every expert would agree with him here. The pediatrician David Martin, for example, is generally skeptical about vaccination in children and said aloud Frankfurter Rundschau, an absolute herd immunity can hardly be achieved anyway. Instead, a so-called relative herd immunity has to be achieved in order to relieve the intensive care units. And that is also possible without vaccinating children and adolescents.
Possible disadvantages of vaccination
Critics argue against vaccination in children and adolescents as follows:
1. Yes, children get sick – but rarely seriously
It is known that children can get the coronavirus just like adults. But only in individual cases does the disease actually take a serious course – around 0.01 percent of known infected children in Germany had to receive intensive medical care. Two sick children, equivalent to 0.001 percent, died. Both had previous illnesses, however. PIMS occurs relatively very rarely; too little is known about long Covid cases in children to be able to assess the risk. And: Whether a vaccination can protect children and adolescents from these secondary diseases is simply not yet known.
2. The amount of data is too small for an assessment
In its assessment, the STIKO bases its assessment on studies carried out by vaccine manufacturers to date. For example, the Moderna company has so far tested its vaccine on a little more than 3,000 children and adolescents, and BioNTech is noisy examination so far about 1,100 young people. Follow-up after the end of the study was two to three months. Based on the previously known experience with the vaccines However, it is only when the respective vaccine is used more widely and with sufficient time to assess which side effects can occur and to what extent. For adults, who can become more seriously ill and die more often, this risk must be taken, but it should be examined particularly carefully with children and adolescents.
The decision should be left to parents
In just a few days, the European Medicines Agency could approve the vaccine from BioNTech / Pfizer for children between 12 and 15 with certain pre-existing conditions. Federal Health Ministries Spahn would like to offer the relevant children a vaccination offer until August. He made it clear that the STIKO’s statements were only a recommendation. Parents and children can decide for themselves whether they should actually be vaccinated – There will therefore be no compulsory vaccination for attending school.
Sources used: taz.de, spiegel.de, Frankfurter Rundschau