“After carefully evaluating” the “new scientific observations and data”, in Germany the Standing Committee for Vaccination (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute, has decided to issue “a general recommendation to vaccinate Covid from 12 to 17 years”. The German experts thus change their previous assessment. If before they recommended the shield injection only for children with certain conditions (presence of diseases that expose them to a serious Covid course; fragile subjects without adequate immune protection and so on), now they suggest it instead – as stated in a note – for all the very young who fall into this age group. Because “according to the current state of knowledge, the benefits outweigh the risk of very rare vaccine side effects”, they conclude. The recommendation was updated based on new monitoring data available, “most notably from the US vaccination program with nearly 10 million vaccinated children and adolescents.” Now for the experts it is possible to quantify and evaluate the risks of vaccination for this age group in a more reliable way, having clear the picture of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), which they define as “very rare” and with a “simple” course in rare cases reported. While on the other hand, recent studies indicate that cardiac involvement can also occur in Covid-19 disease. The new general recommendation is mainly aimed, the experts write, at the “direct protection of children and adolescents from Covid-19 and associated psychosocial consequences”. Vaccination must continue to be “carried out after obtaining medical advice on the benefits and risks”. However, Stiko declares “expressly opposed to making vaccinations a prerequisite for the social participation of children and adolescents”. Therefore it would not be conceivable for them to link access to schools, for example, to the vaccine.
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