France is currently facing an epidemiological rebound. The circulation of the virus is accelerating, especially among children under 10. Which revives the issue of vaccination against the virus in children to stop the epidemic dynamics.
Two weeks after the children returned to class in France, contamination linked to Covid-19 is growing again in France. Yes, the beginning of the new school year seems to be linked to the epidemiological rebound that the country is experiencing
According to the latest data communicated by Santé Publique France, the incidence rate is increasing not only among children under 10 (+ 9% in a week), a sign that the resumption of the epidemic seems to be characterized in French schools. “It is a peculiarity of Covid-19, explains Pascal Crépey, professor-researcher in epidemiology at the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health, with The Midi Enter. It spreads first among the younger age groups “.
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The following ? “A pyramid effect”, emphasizes the epidemiologist. The older age groups are gradually affected by the virus. For health authorities, wishing to stem the epidemiological dynamics, this information is particularly important. The question is asked: should we therefore re-launch the vaccination of children in France to stop the infections?
From what age can you get vaccinated?
In practice, in France, children over the age of 5 are allowed to be vaccinated against Covid-19. “The vaccination campaign has been extended to all children aged 5 to 11 from December 22, 2021, the health authorities explain. From January 25, 2022, the agreement of a single parent is sufficient to vaccinate children. Children aged 5 to 11 years .
The vaccine given to children is the pediatric form of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, three times less dosed than the adult form of the vaccine injected into people over 12 years of age.
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In theory, children under the age of 5 cannot be vaccinated against the virus. But according to the latest data from Public Health France, 6,203 children between the ages of 0 and 4 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. How to explain it?
There “are recommendations, in particular from the Strategic Guidance Council on Vaccination, and from some pediatricians, on vaccinating children at very high risk of severe Covid-19, Public Health France points out to our colleagues at TF1. This particularly concerns children with primary immune deficiencies, transplant patients (bone marrow, organs), children who can undergo chemotherapy, who are carriers of trisomy 21 or who have very serious underlying diseases.
For the moment, only Canada has authorized children under 5 years of age to benefit from a specific vaccination against the virus on 9 September.
Vaccines that protect against infections?
However, vaccinating children against Covid-19 – whatever their age – makes sense only if the vaccines used today allow them to protect themselves from contamination and stem the epidemic dynamics. And that’s not the case … “For the moment, vaccines only protect against severe forms of the disease”, explains in our columns Professor Élisabeth Bouvet, president of the Technical Commission on Vaccination of the High Authority for Health (HAS).
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The vaccine landscape must therefore be reinvented. In this regard, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna announced bivalent vaccines adapted to variants of the Omicron family for the fall. It remains to be seen whether the latter will help protect against contamination: “If so, this would break the epidemic dynamic, comments Pascal Crépey. We should therefore consider extending the vaccination recommendations to the rest of the population.” And therefore, without a doubt. , to children under 5 years …
For now, more than 143,000 children under 10 have received a first dose of the vaccine in France. Vaccination of children remains very little followed in the country: only 3.5% of children between the ages of 5 and 9 and 10.1% of those between the ages of 10 and 11 have received a first dose of the vaccine .