France’s national health authority has given the green light to extend COVID-19 vaccination to all children aged 5-11, according to its opinion published Monday. This can be done “as soon as the paediatric formulation of Pfizer’s Comirnaty® vaccine is available”, it added.
While children “at-risk” of contracting severe forms of coronavirus could already be vaccinated from 15 December, the health authority decided to extend COVID-19 vaccination to all children.
The move is designed to mitigate the spread of the new Omicron variant, which raises fears of “an increase in the number of cases of severe forms of the disease in children”, a press releasepublished by the health body reads.
“In view of the various models carried out, even if the impact of vaccinating children on the current wave would only be very limited, it could potentially reduce the impact of subsequent waves by reducing the circulation of the virus in the general population,” it adds.
France’s health authority also stressed that vaccination must be opened “without obligation and without this being a condition for obtaining a health pass”. It suggests that priority should be given to children under 12 attending secondary school.
The vaccination campaign for children should be launched on 22 December, Health Minister Olivier Véran told France Inter on 18 December.
The government is expecting the conclusions of the Vaccine Strategy Orientation Council on Wednesday morning.
(Nelly Moussu | EURACTIV.fr)