The Pfizer vaccine could be approved for children already this summer, but Preben Aavitsland at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) is unsure whether the vaccination program will be expanded.
“It may be possible to start vaccinating Swedish schoolchildren before the end of the school year in Sweden,” global research manager Mikael Dolsten in Pfizer told SVT.
Just over 2,000 children aged twelve to 15 have participated in the vaccine study. The vaccine was found to provide 100% protection among the participants, and there were also no increased levels of side effects compared with those shown in adults.
Chief physician Preben Aavitsland at the FHI believes that the news is positive, and points out that there will also be more studies.
“The FHI will eventually assess whether it is relevant to expand the vaccination program to children – all children or just children with special diseases that make them more prone to serious coronavirus,” he told NTB.
Immunity in the population
Aavitsland also emphasizes that no decision has yet been made in the case.
“The FHI will carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of vaccinating children. This is a case where one should think carefully and consider all related matters. Since children rarely get severe coronavirus, the benefit of vaccinating them is lower than in adults and the elderly,” he said.
“It may well be that you can achieve enough immunity in the population without vaccinating the children,” Aavitsland added.
Nakstad: It could happen during the autumn
Assistant director of health Espen Rostrup Nakstad does not believe that vaccination of children will take place in Norway already this summer.
However, he told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that it could happen in the autumn if the EU Medicines Agency (EMA) and the FHI approve the vaccine for children.
“It is difficult to say, but from what we hear now, it could go faster than we thought. But I do not think it will be relevant to vaccinate young people until after the summer in that case. Many others need a vaccine before that group,” he said.
He told TV2 that he has faith that FHI will approve the vaccine during the autumn.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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