“Countries should consider the individual and population benefits of immunising children and adolescents in their specific epidemiological and social context when developing their COVID-19 immunisation policies and programs,” stated the assertion, printed Wednesday.
WHO has lengthy argued that older adults, individuals with power well being situations and well being staff must be prioritized for vaccines and that it’s “less urgent” to vaccinate children. The new assertion acknowledges that some countries which have already distributed vaccines to these prioritized teams, together with the United States, at the moment are rolling out vaccines to children.
“As such, before considering implementing primary vaccination series in adolescents and children, attaining high coverage of primary series – and booster doses as needed based on evidence of waning and optimizing vaccination impact – in highest risk subgroups, such as older adults, must be considered.”
A push to vaccinate the world
WHO has lengthy referred to as for international vaccine fairness.
In August, WHO pressed the 20 strongest world leaders and pharmaceutical chiefs to reverse “disgraceful” inequity in entry to vaccines by the fall.
“I think whether children get vaccinated or not will depend a lot on, firstly, how we are able to cover these other priority groups first, what the epidemiology of the disease is,” WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan stated Wednesday at a information briefing in Geneva.
She added that more information is required on children to higher perceive how a lot pure an infection has occurred amongst their age group, one thing that may range nation by nation.
“Then when we get to the goals of reducing transmission, really down to very low levels, at that point, one might consider, of course, vaccinating children as well,” Swaminathan stated.
“I think the guidance on children will be very contextual and specific to local context,” she stated. “But, we also need to then wait for more vaccines to have the data in children before we can make further recommendations.”
WHO notes in its new interim assertion that there are benefits to vaccinating children and adolescents that transcend direct well being benefits, together with that vaccinations may also help hold faculties safely open and reduce coronavirus transmission in different age teams, together with older adults.
WHO additionally states that it’s of “utmost importance” that children proceed to get their advisable childhood vaccinations for different infectious illnesses.
In information printed in July, WHO reported that 23 million children total missed out on primary routine immunizations final 12 months — which is 3.7 million greater than who missed out in 2019.
“Even as countries clamor to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines, we have gone backwards on other vaccinations, leaving children at risk from devastating but preventable diseases like measles, polio or meningitis,” Tedros stated in the July announcement.
“Multiple disease outbreaks would be catastrophic for communities and health systems already battling COVID-19, making it more urgent than ever to invest in childhood vaccination and ensure every child is reached.”