COVID-19: Should your children be vaccinated as the school year approaches?

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While concerns about the coronavirus pandemic seem to be disappearing from the minds of the French, some doctors are concerned about the very low rate of children being vaccinated in light of the start of the school year in September.

For several weeks now, it has become difficult for the majority of French people to bear in mind that Covid-19 is still relevant. Between the recent significant lifting of restrictions and the return of summer, the pandemic already seems more than ever behind us. But many scholars already fear a backlash in the coming months, particularly in the weeks after the start of the school year in September.

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From this perspective, there is one number of particular concern: the rate of children vaccinated between 5 and 11 years old. Epidemiologist Yves Poisson notes: “It is true that we have been insisting a lot a few weeks ago on the importance of maintaining high vaccine protection for the most vulnerable population. But we talk too little about children.” In a country like France, it has historically been more cautious about vaccination than its western neighbours, this results in one of the lowest vaccination coverage between 5-11 years.

France in the back of the box

According to the latest official data, only 5.2% of French children in this age group are vaccinated. This is lower than that of Great Britain (7%), Switzerland (8.4%); But above all it is much less than Germany (22.2%), Belgium (33.3%), the United States (35.5%), Italy (38.1%) … not to mention Spain or Canada, which has managed to get more than one in two children vaccinated.

% of children aged 5-11 years who received at least one dose of the vaccine\ud83d\udc47#corona virus disease

•\ud83c\uddeb\ud83c\uddf7 France: 5.2%
• \ ud83c \ udff4 ????? England: 7%
•\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udded Switzerland: 8.4%
•\ud83c\udde9\ud83c\uddea Germany: 22.2%
•\ud83c\udde7\ud83c\uddea Belgium: 33.3%
•\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 US: 35.5%
•\ud83c\uddee\ud83c\uddf9 Italy: 38.1%
•\ud83c\uddf5\ud83c\uddf9 Portugal: 48.4%
•\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddf8 Spain: 54.5%
•\ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6 Canada: 56.5%

– Nicholas Berrod (@nicolasberrod) May 29 2022

“We should be more concerned about that already,” confirms the head of the Covid cell within the Academy of Medicine. “Because, in fact, we can fear that from the beginning of the next school year we will have to face, if not a new wave, in any case an increase in the number of cases. With” the eternal problem of closing classes that this could lead to , so you can also take the lead in vaccinating children, believes Yves Buisson. Especially since we know that it is through them that the virus begins to spread again, as in the case of influenza, and this vaccination in children has only advantages. In any case, there are almost no drawbacks. ”

Always took it

For the epidemiologist, “It is always interesting to push the vaccination, especially in this age group between 5 and 11 years where there are no significant side effects compared to other vaccines.” Even if France has a large gap to offset the vaccine to have a real impact on herd immunity among younger people, even more so with the higher rate of transmission caused by Omicron.

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“In order to no longer worry about transmission among the youngest, we should have more than 90% vaccination among this population,” the professor estimates. Figures today seem completely fictitious, but they shouldn’t stop things from all of that. “It is true that the new variants taking hold mean that vaccines essentially avoid severe forms and are less effective at transmission. However, if the community is sufficiently vaccinated, the virus spreads much less than if it had not. Not at all, necessarily.”

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