Achieve herd immunity as quickly as possible, through vaccination, to prevent the emergence of new variants that are too different from the previous ones. This, simply summarized, is the strategy advocated by the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Medicine in a joint press release.
The two learned societies estimate, in view of the current pandemic wave linked to the Omicron variant, thatdo not hesitate to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11age group massively contaminated by this more contagious variant.
“As in the United States, this phenomenon is accompanied by a significant increase in daily pediatric hospitalizations: in the second week of 2022, 979 children aged 0-9 were hospitalized (source GEODES), almost 80% of them presenting no comorbidity, and 9 deaths have occurred since January 1 (source GEODES)”, indicate the two academies in their press release (Source 1). They add that the share of children hospitalized “for Covid” (and not “with Covid”) remains the majority and “includes a significant proportion of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndromes (PIMS) with delayed onset in relation to the infection (3 to 12 weeks later) and generally attributable to the Delta variant”.
The low vaccination coverage of 5-11 year olds exposes them to a high level of circulation of the Omicron variant, particularly in primary school. However, learned societies point out that the efficacy and safety of the current formulation for 5-11 year olds, namely the “Comirnaty BioNTech-Pfizer 10 micrograms Child” vaccine, have been “confirmed by real-life studies, American and Israeli, now involving more than 10 million children”. So they judge the benefit/risk ratio favorable to the individual planbecause this vaccine immunity protects the child from the risk of serious forms linked to new variants.
The academies also judge that the collective benefits of childhood vaccination must also be recalled in several areas (school, family, mental state, social, etc.), as well as strengthening herd immunity“necessary to reduce the spread of viruses and limit the possible emergence of new variants”.
They also recommendaccelerate the vaccination of 5-11 year oldsin particular by increasing the vaccination offer for this public, by diversifying the people authorized to vaccinate them, by organizing vaccination in schools, by “going towards” children with comorbidities because they are more at risk of serious forms, and, finally, by providing more information to parents.
Recall that now the agreement of only one of the two parents enough to get a child aged 5 to 15 vaccinated. People 16 and older no longer need parental permission to receive the vaccine.