As the months go by, there are more and more vaccines those approved by the different world agencies for use against SARS-CoV-2. Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca are the first to be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), while the one developed by Johnson & Johnson.
Despite having several options, many of them have a big but: due to their complexity, are not tested in early age population groups such as children and adolescents. However, according to several experts, their vaccination could be key to ending the pandemic permanently.
Experts call for vaccination of children
Since the arrival of the coronavirus, role played by minors in transmitting the disease is not entirely clear, as the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health recalls. However, a lower morbidity and mortality rate is observed in them.
Last Sunday John Edmunds, member of the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, assured that there will be “a significant risk of resurgence” of the virus until the entire world population, including children, are vaccinated. Meanwhile, a celebrity like Stanley Plotkin, inventor of the rubella vaccine and also a participant in the development of a solution against rotavirus, affirms that he cannot imagine “how we could eradicate the virus unless we are willing to immunize the majority of the population“.
Vaccine trials in minors
AstraZeneca, together with the University of Oxford, has launched a mid-stage study to test its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 6 to 17. For their part, other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer / BioNTech are preparing theirs by the end of the year. In your case, you will do it in two age groups: from 5 to 11 years and from 12 to 15.
However, companies may need reformulate your inoculations for the little ones, as they may have immune responses different from those of adults.
Arguments for and against
“If you can show that immunizing children education can be guaranteed and the risk of interruption eliminatedSo it’s a direct benefit to them, “Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics, told The Guardian.
Another opinion in favor is that of Paul Heath, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of London, who is involved in the development of the Novavax vaccine. “It may be a reasonable strategy to vaccinate children so that cannot transmit to susceptible adults“.
Meanwhile, the pediatrician and clinical scientist of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Rinn Song, considers that it is more important, given the shortage of vaccines, to administer them to the people at risk from countries that do not yet have access to them.