NewsCorona vaccinations with children's vaccine start this week

Corona vaccinations with children's vaccine start this week

Stiko has positioned itself to vaccinate children, now specially dosed corona vaccine is being delivered for five to eleven year olds. How is the vaccination campaign planned for this age group?

Berlin – The children’s vaccinations with a corona vaccine for five to eleven year olds should start this week in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Health announced the start of delivery of Biontech / Pfizer’s children’s vaccine.

In addition to pediatrician practices, child vaccinations are also provided in public vaccination centers, but not everywhere. In some places special vaccination campaigns are also planned – in Berlin for example in the zoo or in the natural history museum, in Lower Saxony in the football stadium of Hannover 96 and in the zoo of the state capital. When it actually starts, however, differs.

Requested cans on the way

According to the Ministry of Health on Sunday, over 2.2 million doses of the children’s vaccine will be distributed to pharmaceutical wholesalers. In addition, there are also country contingents that are made available. Doctors’ offices order the vaccines through pharmacies. According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, which appealed to the ministry, the practices have requested around 800,000 doses this week. These would be completely delivered from Monday to Wednesday at the latest.

The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) had recommended vaccination of children aged five to eleven who have risk factors for a severe course of Covid-19 or relatives at high risk. In addition, parents can also have their healthy children vaccinated after they have been informed individually. The paper published on Thursday is not yet a final decision, as usual there is still a coordination process with specialist societies and countries.

Stark-Watzinger: An important contribution

Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) sees child vaccinations as an important contribution to ensuring classroom teaching, as she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. In a dpa interview, the general secretary of the Federal Schoolchildren’s Conference, Katharina Swinka, calls for mobile vaccination teams in schools and better education about the vaccination.

The chairwoman of the board of the Federal Association of Doctors of the Public Health Service (BVÖGD), Ute Teichert, believes that child vaccinations against the coronavirus at schools and daycare centers are right in the long term, for example when booster vaccinations are due. Currently, the path via pediatrician practices and separate vaccination routes in the vaccination centers is the right one, said the chief medical officer of the “Rheinische Post”. The president of the professional association of paediatricians, Thomas Fischbach, assumes that the majority of his colleagues will participate in vaccinating the children. “The preparations have largely been completed because the Stiko recommendation was expected,” said Fischbach of the “Rheinische Post”.

In Bavaria, according to Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU), children from the age of five should be able to be vaccinated from Wednesday in vaccination centers and medical practices – provided the federal government keeps its delivery promises. The vaccination centers in Bavaria alone have ordered around 240,000 doses. “We have already asked the vaccination centers to offer special family vaccination appointments,” said Holetschek. In addition, according to a ministry spokeswoman, the stations should be designed in a way that is child-friendly, and the children should receive “give-aways” such as colored pencils.

Preparations in the countries

In the vaccination centers of the municipalities and districts in North Rhine-Westphalia there should be an offer for five to eleven year olds from Friday. At least half of the vaccinations should be given by appointment. The North Rhine Pharmacists’ Association assumes that the first paediatricians will vaccinate with the children’s vaccine on Monday.

A central child vaccination center for this age group has been set up in Bremen and will start operations on Tuesday. Pediatricians are available there for advice, and information material specially designed for children is created. Mobile vaccination offers for children are currently not planned.

The Rhineland-Palatinate state government is aiming for the start of vaccinations in one of the state’s nine centers for Thursday. Parents have been able to register their children online or via a hotline since December 1st. Parents have been able to register their children since December 1st. The main point of contact, however, should be the paediatricians, where appointments are made individually.

The Ministry of Health in Baden-Württemberg initially sees pediatricians on the train for vaccinations for children between the ages of five and eleven. They know their patients best and know which children should be vaccinated as a priority, it said. In addition to the practices, there should also be vaccination campaigns in the city and rural districts and in clinics. According to the information, there are concepts for special offers for children and their parents in the Rems-Murr district and in Tübingen.

In Berlin, the corona vaccinations for children in the three state-owned vaccination centers are to start on Wednesday. There will be a total of 35 additional vaccination booths for children. Child vaccinations are also planned in primary schools by mobile vaccination teams. Vaccination offers for children are also planned for the Christmas holidays.

In Saxony-Anhalt, according to the Ministry of Social Affairs, 87 paediatricians have so far agreed to vaccinate children of the age group, 40 of which have indicated their willingness to support vaccination centers if necessary. In addition, some rural districts and urban districts organized additional vaccination offers. The public vaccination centers in Magdeburg, the Burgenland district and the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district would probably only start vaccinating children in the coming year.

In Thuringia, 3000 appointments for vaccinations of five to eleven year olds have been activated in several public vaccination centers for the time being. “First of all, we are careful whether the promised vaccine actually arrives and whether the offer is accepted at all,” said the vaccination manager of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Jörg Mertz. From December 27th, the dates will be extended to vaccination centers throughout Thuringia.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, children in this age group should primarily be vaccinated by pediatricians. Health Minister Stefanie Drese (SPD) said on Friday where vaccinating paediatricians are not available. In addition, vaccination campaign days for children and their families are being planned.

Lower dose, differently bottled

For five to eleven year olds, a lower-dose and differently bottled preparation is used compared to the conventional Biontech / Pfizer vaccine. According to Stiko, two doses of the mRNA vaccine should be given at intervals of three to six weeks. There is still no approved vaccine for younger children.

Federal Family Minister Anne Spiegel (Greens) had given the start of child vaccinations a good signal. For many five to eleven year olds and their families that was a “great relief,” she told the newspapers of the Funke media group. Child-friendly vaccination offers are required everywhere in the country. dpa

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