“The most beautiful of gifts”: doctors welcome the green light from the HAS to the vaccination of children

While the High Authority for Health gave its approval for the vaccination of 5-11 year olds on Monday, specialists encourage parents to follow this recommendation. A decision to protect the little ones, and their loved ones.

The decision was awaited. On Monday, the High Authority for Health (HAS) spoke out in favor of the vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 to fight against Covid-19. A choice that has been praised by several specialists.

In detail, the HAS also recommends vaccinating as a priority “schoolchildren (under 12 years old, whose characteristics are similar to those of other schoolchildren) in order to quickly complete the vaccination campaign for children aged 12 and over” .

“I think it’s the best gift you could put under the tree for children, for parents and for the fragile people around them. Every week, recently, more than 100,000 children and adolescents have tested positive “, explained on BFMTV Mahmoud Zureik, professor of epidemiology and public health.

The incidence explodes in children

“Obviously, children go to hospital very little, fortunately even less die. But last week there were 200 hospitalizations for children, around thirty children in intensive care,” adds the expert. “Look at what has happened in neighboring countries, there has been a very significant increase in hospitalizations of serious cases in children because there has been a very high incidence”, alert for his part Daniel Floret, vice-president of the technical commission for vaccinations at the HAS, on BFMTV.

According to him, the vaccination of children can therefore be justified “in a context where there is a very high incidence of the disease” among this population. However, this is precisely the case at present in France. On December 10, the incidence rate of the disease reached 1,015 cases per 100,000 inhabitants among 6-10 year olds. A figure that even rose to 2204 in the Drôme, the most affected region. “This is the age group where the incidence is the highest”, summarizes Daniel Floret.

Give parents confidence

Experts now want to encourage parents to choose vaccination. Because this one will not be obligatory. Hervé Haas, pediatrician infectious disease specialist at the Princess-Grace hospital in Monaco, believes that it is important to explain that children “protect themselves, but also help protect others”.

But to succeed in gaining the trust of the parents, it will be necessary to reassure a good part of it. For Christèle Gras-Le Guen, head of the pediatric service at Nantes University Hospital, children must therefore be “taken care of by professionals who are used to children”, and “organize things”, so that the vaccination is going well for the youngest.

Brigitte Virey, pediatrician and president of the national union of pediatricians, also explained on BFMTV, that it was necessary to highlight the benefit-risk balance, very positive. According to her, the youngest are more likely to develop a severe form of Covid-19 than to react badly to the vaccine. Data that could convince parents.

Some children can wait

Same story with Hervé Haas. He explains that there were “8 cases of myocarditis out of nearly 7 million doses” in the United States, and the vast majority during the second doses. This is also why a serological test will be carried out before vaccination. “This will allow those who have been infected asymptomatically to have only one dose”, explains Hervé Haas.

For his part, Édouard Obadia, resuscitator at the Claude Galien hospital in Quincy-sous-Sénart, underlines a “good thing”, but explains that some parents can legitimately take their time before making a decision.

“If your children are in perfect health, live in an environment where everyone is vaccinated with 3 doses and where the parents have no comorbidities, indeed, we can postpone this vaccination,” he says.

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“The most beautiful of gifts”: doctors welcome the green light from the HAS to the vaccination of children