Covid vaccine and adolescents, paediatricians: 'It should be done, under study also for 6 months-12 years'
Vaccine and adolescents, Agostiniani (Italian Society of Paediatrics): “The feeling is that there is still a difficulty in making families perceive the opportunity to immunise their children”
“Even if the percentages of vaccinated children are clearly growing (over 40% for the 12-15 years and over 67% for the 16-19 years) it is important to continue with an information campaign on vaccinations for adolescents that is well structured, because the feeling is that there is still a difficulty in making families perceive the opportunity to immunize their children.
Vaccine and adolescents, a combination that must exist: this was stressed by Rino Agostiniani, treasurer of the Italian Society of Paediatrics (Sip) and director of the Paediatrics and Neonatology area of the Toscana Centro Local Health Unit
The only way to bring about a real change in behaviour is through vaccination,” says the paediatrician.
We must bear in mind that when the children go back to school we will be in a phase in which a large part of the older population will be vaccinated, but the virus will continue to circulate and will do so mainly among the younger categories of people.
This is a situation that will have to be carefully monitored.
Agostiniani emphasises that the scenario is still fairly uncertain “because a whole series of critical points that existed last year will continue to exist this year”.
In particular, the Sip treasurer refers to problems “relating to transport and the structural characterisation of school environments with the difficulty of maintaining the distance between one student and another.
These problems,” he said, “have not been overcome, and what we have more of this year are vaccinations.
However, “as is the case for many health aspects in our country, there are big regional differences,” the paediatrician points out.
The diffusion of data on the vaccinated in the category ‘school staff’ is comforting, with more than 90% in order for the beginning of the lessons, but with important differences between regions.
And the organisational management of the green pass obligation will not be easy”.
NOT ONLY ADOLESCENTS: WHAT ABOUT THE VACCINE FOR THOSE UNDER 12?
As far as children under 12 years of age are concerned, “it is foreseeable that by the end of the year there may be authorisation from the regulatory bodies for the use of messenger mRNA vaccines for the 6 months – 12 years age group as well.
Studies are currently under way,’ Agostiniani explains.
Finally, on the blanket use of salivary swabs, ‘at the moment it seems more like a tool for monitoring the spread of the virus than a strategy for timely diagnosis and surveillance of any positives,’ concludes the paediatrician.