Covid-19: increasing incidence rate, increasing cases among children under 10 years old… should children be vaccinated?

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essential France is currently facing an epidemiological upsurge. The circulation of the virus is accelerating, especially among children under the age of 10. What revives the issue of vaccination against the virus in children to stop the dynamics of the epidemic. Two weeks after children return to class in France, pollution linked to Covid-19 is rising again in France. Yes, the start of the new school year seems to be linked to the epidemiological upturn that the country is currently experiencing. According to the latest data reported by Public Health France, the incidence rate is increasing not only among children under 10 (+9% in a week ), a sign that the recovery of the epidemic seems to be characteristic in French schools. “It is a peculiarity of Covid-19, explains Pascal Crépey, professor-researcher in epidemiology at the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health, with La Dépêche du Midi. It is distributed first among the youngest age categories.” Also read: Covid-19: “We are witnessing the beginning of the 8th wave”, contaminations rise again in France What’s going on? “A pyramid effect”, points out the epidemiologist. Older age groups are gradually affected by the virus. For the health authorities, who want to slow down the epidemiological dynamics, this information is particularly important. It begs the question: should we then re-launch the vaccination of children in France to stop infections? From what age can you be vaccinated? In practice, in France, children over the age of 5 are authorized to be vaccinated against Covid-19. “The vaccination campaign has been extended to all children aged 5 to 11 from December 22, 2021, health authorities explain. From January 25, 2022, the agreement of a single parent is sufficient to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11. The vaccine given to children is the pediatric form of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, three times less dosed than the adult form of the vaccine injected into people over 12. Read also : Covid-19: low, low… what rules to take care of your child if he is sick or has a contact? In theory, children under 5 cannot be vaccinated against the virus. But according to the latest figures from Public Health France, 6,203 children aged 0 to 4 have received at least one dose of vaccine. How to explain this? “There are recommendations, in particular from the Council for Strategic Orientation on vaccination, and from certain paediatricians, on the vaccination of children at very high risk of severe Covid-19,” Public Health France tells our colleagues it’s from TF1. This especially affects children. with primary immunodeficiencies, transplant patients (marrow, organs), children who may be undergoing chemotherapy, who are carriers of trisomy 21 or who have very serious underlying pathologies. For now, only Canada authorized, on September 9, children under 5 to benefit from a specific vaccine against the virus. Vaccines that protect against infection? However, vaccinating children against Covid-19, whatever their age, only makes sense if the vaccines in use today can protect against contamination and slow down the dynamics of the epidemic. And it’s not like that… “At the moment, vaccines only protect against serious forms of the disease”, Professor Élisabeth Bouvet, president of the technical vaccination commission of the High Health Authority (HAS), explains in our columns. Read also: Vaccines against Covid-19: despite the new recommendations of the HAS, the withdrawal campaign remains poorly followed The panorama of vaccines must be reinvented. In this sense, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have announced for the autumn bivalent vaccines adapted to variants of the Omicron family. It remains to be seen whether the latter will allow protection from contamination: “If so, this would break the epidemic dynamics, comments Pascal Crépey. Then we should consider extending the vaccination recommendations to the rest of the population.” And therefore, without a doubt, to those under 5 years old… At the moment, more than 143,000 children under 10 years old have received a first dose of vaccine in France. Vaccination of children remains very low in the country: only 3.5% of children aged 5 to 9 and 10.1% of children aged 10 to 11 received a first dose of vaccine.
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