More and more parents do not want to wait any longer for the approval of the Covid vaccine for their five to twelve year old offspring. In Austria, the “off label” vaccinations for children have quadrupled in just one month! In mid-September, 674 children in this age group were vaccinated, 156 of them fully immunized, the number rose to 2800 by October 14, of which 570 were fully immunized. In the EU, meanwhile, there is intensive discussion about when the Pfizer vaccine should be officially released for the under-twelve-year-olds.
General practitioner Birgit Angel also got the ball rolling. A few weeks ago, the doctor from Vienna Favoriten explained in an interview with the “Krone” that she was already vaccinating five to twelve year olds without previous illnesses “off label”, i.e. apart from the approval, against Corona and that there was increasing interest in the in many families Immunization of younger children.
“Demand is still huge”
The current ELGA figures available to the “Krone” show that the doctor was right with her observation. Although the corona vaccination in Austria with the vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna is only officially approved for young people from the age of twelve, the number of under-twelve-year-olds vaccinated has quadrupled in the last four weeks – from 674 to 2800 vaccinated children in this age. “And the demand is still huge,” confirms Angel. “Meanwhile, many more doctors, including paediatricians, are vaccinating ‘off label’.” But why do parents allow their children to be vaccinated early? Often people from the risk group live in close proximity to the little ones. Fear of quarantine is also a common motive.
Child vaccination tourism from Germany
The possibility of immunizing children against the virus prematurely has spread beyond national borders. Since hardly any physician in our neighboring country Germany vaccinates “off label”, parents and their offspring come to Vienna for the vaccination: “I had several families from Germany. One of them even accepted an eight-hour journey, ”says Angel.
EMA advises at full speed
“From an epidemiological point of view, I am in favor of the approval for child vaccination coming soon,” says environmental doctor Hans-Peter Hutter, “but the European Medicines Agency will not make the decision easy for itself.” Originally, a recommendation was expected in October – that would be within the next two weeks, which is increasingly being doubted.