the Ethics Committee considers the vaccination of 5-11 year olds “acceptable”, in the name of the individual benefit for children

“Ethically acceptable. “ It is with this completely regulatory formula that the National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) gave the green light, Thursday, December 16, to the vaccination of all children from 5 to 11 years old. Seized by the Minister of Health, the CCNE however arrogated its opinion of several limits and underlined that it was pronouncing “In urgency and uncertainty”.

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While last June, the Council had only lip service to the vaccination of adolescents aged 12 to 17, experts believe that “The epidemiological situation has changed”, as indicated by Alexandra Benachi, head of the neonatology service at Antoine-Béclère hospital in Clamart (Hauts-de-Seine), co-rapporteur of the opinion.

If the circulation of the virus in the population “Directly questions the concept of group immunity as a means of controlling the epidemic”, children aged 6-10 years, who have the highest incidence rate, are nonetheless an essential vector of circulation of the virus. “Childhood immunization coverage could drastically reduce cases of infection”, underlines the opinion of CCNE: 38% for a vaccination coverage of 20% of children, and “Up to 75% if the coverage reached 50%”, according to the scenarios of the modelers.

Learning from adolescent vaccination

In addition, the vaccination of adolescents, launched this summer, has provided valuable information. The level of hospitalizations among the latter decreased this fall, compared to the fall of 2020. Conversely, it remained the same among young children. In addition, the closures of classes and establishments are infinitely more numerous in schools than in colleges and high schools.

It is therefore in the name of “Individual benefit of the child” that CCNE recommends the generalization of vaccination for 5-11 year olds. First of all, direct medical benefit. Of course, severe forms remain rare in children and primarily affect the small minority of children with co-morbidities. Corn “The vast majority of admissions to critical care and more than 50% of hospitalizations concern children without comorbidities”.

Vaccination has also cleared pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndromes (PIMS) in adolescents, which sometimes occur after infection with SARS-CoV-2. However, young children are the first victims. The second direct benefit is the improvement of children’s school life and, by extension, their ” Mental Health “ and their “Well-being”.

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