Agreement in favor of vaccination against Covid-19 for children aged 5 to 11

It was one of the last green lights expected before the launch, in France, of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 extended to children aged 5 to 11 years. Monday, December 20, the High Authority of Health (HAS) gave its approval to this extension, subject to parental approval. On November 25, she had already shown herself in favor of a first level: the vaccination of 5-11 year olds exposed to a risk of severe form of the disease, due to comorbidities, or living in the entourage of an immunocompromised person. .

This vaccination campaign could begin on December 22. The public authorities are awaiting a final opinion from the Orientation Committee for the vaccine strategy, published that day, “After looking at real-life US data based on booster vaccination of 2 million US children.”

“The first element, fundamental, it is obviously the individual benefit / risk ratio of childhood vaccination ”, explained Lise Alter, director of evaluation and access to innovation at HAS. To appreciate it, it was necessary “Evaluate the available data transmitted by the laboratory [Pfizer], but also pharmacovigilance data ”, based in particular on the monitoring of 7 million children already vaccinated in the United States, including 2 million with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

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Even a little less important than in adults, this ratio remains favorable in 5-11 year olds, “In particular in the current context” of the Delta wave. According to Public Health France, the incidence rate among those under 10 years old has multiplied by 12 in one month, going from 45.7 to 557 between November 3 and December 3 – and to 634 on December 15 (for the the rest of the population, the incidence rate had been multiplied by 6). “Even though severe forms in children are rare, they do exist and it is expected that, with the increase in incidence, these severe forms will be more frequent, explains Patricia Minaya Flores, head of the public health evaluation and vaccine evaluation service. A phenomenon that could be amplified with the arrival of the Omicron variant, which is more contagious. “

Risk of myocarditis linked to Covid

In children and adolescents, the complications of Covid-19 take a very particular form, that of a pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome (PIMS), four to six weeks after the infection, which manifests itself by a very great fatigue, an alteration general condition, persistent fever, diarrhea…; after PIMS, 72% of children develop myocarditis. According to unpublished data from Public Health France, “Between March 2, 2020 and December 12, 2021, 280 children aged 6 to 10 were hospitalized for a PIMS linked to Covid”, specifies Alexandre Belot, pediatrician at the Hospices Civils de Lyon. In 80% of cases, this complication occurs in children without comorbidity.

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Agreement in favor of vaccination against Covid-19 for children aged 5 to 11