Sweden Says No to COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Aged 5 to 11 Years: What to Know
The Quint DAILY
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Sweden has decided against recommending COVID-19 vaccines for children below the age of 12.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden, making the announcement on Thursday, 27 January, argued that the decision was made considering that there isn't enough evidence to suggest that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks in this age group.
"With the knowledge we have today, with a low risk for serious disease for kids, we don't see any clear benefit with vaccinating them," Britta Bjorkholm, a Health Agency official was quoted by Reuters.
This recommendation by the Public Health Agency of Sweden comes only days after a similar decision was made by Norway.
However, children in this age group who also fall in the high risk category are already receiving the vaccine.
This policy will not impact children over 11 who will also continue to get COVID vaccines.
Sweden’s Argument Against Vaccinating 5 to 11 Year Olds
Firstly, here are some key points to note about Sweden's COVID vaccine for children.
Sweden currently allows COVID vaccines to people over the ages of 11.
COVID Vaccines have also been approved for children over the age of 5, and are currently being recommended to high risk kids in this age group.
Currently, only the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has been approved in Sweden for children.
In a press release put out by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, stated that the medical benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine in children between 5 and 11 years of age was 'currently small'.
Moreover, according to the officials there isn't enough evidence to suggest that vaccinating children in this age group would slow down the spread of the infection in the population in any way.
The added, however, that the decision may change if enough scientific evidence of its safety and benefit emerge in the future. They also said that future variants and their trajectories may also determine if the current policy is reversed.
"We will continue to follow the issue. We are constantly assessing the state of knowledge and the development of the pandemic in Sweden and the rest of the world, and a new position will be taken on this issue before the autumn term."Karin Tegmark Wisell, Director General of the Swedish Public Health Agency said in the statement
COVID-19 Vaccines for Children in India
In India, currently COVID vaccines have only been rolled out for children over the age of 15.
Moreover, according to the Union Health Ministry's mandate, children are to be inoculated only with Bharat Biotech's Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine.
It must be noted though, that Covaxin has received an Emergency Use Authorised (EUA) for children over the age of 12.
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