Vaccination of children: all you need to know about the campaign for 5-11 year olds



No time to waste in the face of the Omicron surge. The vaccination campaign for all children aged 5 to 11 is launched this Wednesday, December 22, announced the Minister of Health Olivier Véran. Here is how it will unfold.

► Who are the children concerned?

All children aged 5 to 11, or a population of 5.7 million, are affected. Note that their vaccination is not compulsory and does not condition the obtaining of a health pass. More than 29,000 of them have already received at least one dose of vaccine since December 15, among the 360,000 priority children because they present a comorbidity or live in the entourage of an immunocompromised person.

→ ANALYSIS. Vaccination of children, the doubts of some parents

► What dose will the children receive?

The pediatric formulation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contains one-third the dose of that injected into adults. A second dose is scheduled twenty-one days after the first injection, unless a rapid pre-injection serological test reveals the presence of antibodies. In this case, “A second dose would be useless from the point of view of protection and not neutral on the occurrence of side effects”, indicates the vice-president of the technical commission of vaccinations at the High Authority of health, Daniel Floret.

► Where and when to have your child vaccinated?

For the time being, a little less than 200 centers welcome 5-11 year olds. They are listed on the santé.fr site by checking the box “center for vaccines 5-11 years”. The government is aiming for a target of 350 centers by January. Luc Duquesnel, coordinator of vaccination centers in Mayenne, is actively working on the deployment of new infrastructure because “The reception of children requires a specific organization at the level of the premises, but also at the level of human resources”.

The schedule is the same for everyone, with no priority age category. But the HAS recommends to vaccinate as a priority the secondary school pupils, that is to say the 11-12 years old. Logic for Daniel Floret who emphasizes that “Until now, it was possible to vaccinate the fifth in secondary schools but not the sixth”. The challenge: no longer having to close a class at the start of the school year, maintained, for the moment, on January 3.

► What is the rule in terms of consent?

The consent of one of the legal representatives, as well as the presence of an accompanying person, are necessary for the care of the child. The president of the French Association of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Fabienne Kochert, insists on the duty of information vis-à-vis parents facilitated by “Data from the United States which confirms that the vaccine is safe and effective against infections, potentially rare indeed, but extremely serious”.

→ DEBATE. Covid, is childhood vaccination necessary to reverse the epidemic?

An argument that could dispel the reluctance of parents. For now, seven in ten parents remain opposed to the vaccination of their child aged 5-11, according to an Elabe poll released on Thursday, December 16.

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