Young children with higher medical risk can receive Covid vaccine this month
Children between 5 and 11 years old who have certain serious medical risks can soon receive a Covid-19 vaccination. Caretaker Health Minister Hugo de Jonge reported his decision to adopt the recommendations of the Dutch Health Council in a letter to the Tweede Kamer on Wednesday.
De Jonge expects that the jabs with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine can start on December 20. They will use the recommended lower dose for young children rather than the larger dose used for older children and adults.
The Health Council concluded that although most children have no or mild symptoms after a coronavirus infection, some can become seriously ill. This is especially the case with children who suffer from conditions such as severe asthma, chronic lung disorders, heart issues like congenital defects, and serious developmental disorders.
Children with such conditions can develop Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) after a coronavirus infection. The condition is marked by inflammation in multiple organ systems and it can be life-threatening.
The Dutch Association for Pediatrics (NVK) has been asked to select the children between 5 and 11 years of age who are at increased risk. De Jonge has asked the GGDs to set up "at least one vaccination site for the vaccination of children" per GGD region.
The Health Council is currently considering whether a Covid-19 vaccination should be made more widely available for children between the ages of 5 and 11. "The Health Council has indicated that it will provide further advice on this in the short term", according to De Jonge. He notes that this requires "broader social, medical, epidemiological, ethical and legal considerations."
Reporting by ANP.