Stiko is working on a new Covid-19 vaccination recommendation for children and young adults

Changing data due to Omikron: Stiko is working on a new Corona vaccination recommendation for children and young people

Omicron infection is much milder than Delta infection. However, Stiko justifies current vaccination recommendations with data from the delta wave. According to information from FOCUS Online, experts are now working on a new recommendation for children and young adults.

The Standing Committee on Immunization (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) currently recommends that children and adolescents aged 12-17 years be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Comirnaty tRNA vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer. For children younger than age 5 to 11, there are limited recommendations for children with certain pre-existing conditions, such as severe obesity, kidney disease, lung disease, or other risk factors.

These recommendations are now being reviewed in light of the omicron wave. “Stiko generally reviews new studies and adjusts recommendations if necessary. Vaccination of children and young adults is currently a topic in Stiko. Stiko will comment on the results, presumably when the draft decision enters the comment procedureRKI was contacted at the request of FOCUS Online.

It is unclear whether Stiko will keep or change the previous recommendation. According to information from FOCUS Online, there can be a “needs recommendation” that focuses more on individual factors and less on general recommendations.

Omicron infection is more benign than delta

While a relatively large number of severe Covid 19 cases occurred in the delta wave and the intensive care units were sometimes very busy, so far the Omicron wave has been shown to be harmless despite the huge number of infections – both among vaccinated and unvaccinated people. This also appears to be true of affected children, although they rarely became seriously ill during a delta wave.

The journal Nature reports that the individual risk to children of having to go to hospital for an omicron is currently one-third to one-half lower than it was during a delta wave, despite a sharp increase in absolute numbers. At the same time, children admitted to the hospital required less intensive medical procedures such as ventilation or even the administration of oxygen. However, there is no data yet – also on whether and how children develop Long-Covid.

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Stiko’s recommendation is to analyze the risks and benefits

When recommending vaccinations, Stiko Balance the benefits and risks of vaccination against the benefits and risks of infection. In the vast majority of cases, Covid-19 infection in children is mild or even asymptomatic. But there are exceptions. A rare complication of infection is the so-called PIMS syndrome, which is a strong inflammatory reaction of the body. “The initial new clinical picture is increasingly better understood by clinicians and can now be easily treated. To date, PIMS-TS has occurred in about three out of every 10,000 children and adolescents with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and is therefore very rare.according to RKI.

PIMS and Covid Long Syndrome in Children

To date, there is a lack of data on the prolonged phenomenon of Covid in children, which adults know. The RKI indicator summarizes the current situation:It is unclear if and with what frequency COVID-19 protracted illness occurs in children. In general, Long-Covid appears to be less important for this age group than it is for adolescents and adults. (…]Some symptoms such as concentration, sleep disturbances, headaches and depressive moods are very non-specific and also occur as a result of psychosocial stress during an epidemic, for example through fears, school closures or isolation, regardless of SARS-CoV-2 infection. So , studies involving a control group of children and adolescents who did not have SARS-CoV-2 infection are important.In the three available studies with a control group, children infected with SARS-CoV-2 were not affected more frequently by late effects than children without SARS infection -CoV-2According to the authority.

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Severe side effects of vaccination are very rare – but long-term data are still missing

There is also a lack of long-term data on the side effects of Covid 19 vaccines in order to be able to assess them conclusively. However, really serious side effects are very rare in relation to the number of vaccine doses given (already 12 million 12-17 year olds in the United States alone).. “Myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA vaccination were observed more significantly in boys and young adults than in girls and women. The courses were mostly light, but there was a lack of data regarding the long-term course”RKI explains.

He goes on to say:No serious side effects such as myocarditis were observed in children aged 5 to 11 years in the consent studies. However, given the size of the study at the time of approval and the relatively short post-vaccination observation period in countries that have already vaccinated this age group, there are insufficient data yet to be able to identify the rare and very rare adverse effects.

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Anyway, there is a problem Side effects may not be reported. The German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine said in the summer of 2021:Not all vaccination complication registration systems are based on epidemiological (ie, population-related) studies, but only on individual observations that are reported to registration bodies such as the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately estimate how often vaccination complications occur. There is a risk of what is called underreporting, which means that complications are systematically underestimated.

However, given the large number of vaccinations in many countries, the probability of overlooking something dangerous, at least in the case of immediate side effects of known vaccines, is no longer very high.

It is not yet known when Stiko can present her new recommendation – but most likely only after a vote in the Bundestag on a general vaccination. The most comprehensive draft provides for a commitment to vaccination for all adults aged 18 and over.

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