Vaccinating Children Aged 5-11 Being Considered

Vala Hafstað

Vaccinating children aged 5-11 against COVID-19 is being considered in Iceland, mainly to protect the children from illness, but to help control the spread of the pandemic as well, mbl.is reports.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur states that the results of foreign studies of such vaccinations look promising, and that the immune response of this age group can be expected to be similar to what it is among those aged 12-16, which is quite good.

He notes that in the US, thousands of children have required hospitalization, due to COVID-19, and large studies there indicate that the benefits of vaccinating children against COVID-19 greatly outweigh the risk of vaccination. Children, he notes, can become seriously ill from the disease.

Children are much more likely to become ill from the Delta variant of the coronavirus than from earlier variants of the virus, although there is still considerable difference between their illness and that of adults, who are much more likely than children to require hospitalization.

Þórólfur believes the current wave of COVID-19 is largely driven by infections among school-aged children, who then pass the disease on to others at home.

So far, no serious side effects of coronavirus vaccination have been noted among those aged 5-11. By contrast, there have been cases of children becoming severely ill from COVID-19. In this regard, Þórólfur specifically mentions multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), known to be associated with COVID-19. At least one child in Iceland has been affected by the disease, Þórólfur notes, after catching COVID-19. It is a serious condition in which different body parts become inflamed or damaged. “It can include the kidneys, the heart, the brain, and any [organ],” he notes. “It is a very serious condition.”

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