Italy, one Covid positive in 4 is under 11. Paediatricians: 'Vaccinate all children'
Italy, the percentage of children who are Covid positive worries paediatricians: the incidence of the Sars-Cov-2 virus in the population is increasing in all age groups, with higher values in the 0-19 age group
In the last 30 days, more cases have been diagnosed in unvaccinated people in Italy, and it has just been reported that more than one in four children over the age of 12 has received a single dose of vaccine.
These are the data emerging from the latest update, as of 3 November 2021, of the “Covid-19 Epidemic National Update” report.
These numbers lead the paediatricians of the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Paediatrics (Sipps) to express the strong hope that the vaccine will soon be authorised for the 5-11 age group.
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Covid in Italy, paediatricians: “Children must be vaccinated”
Children must be vaccinated, otherwise we won’t get out of it,” Sipps president Giuseppe Di Mauro emphasises bluntly, “25% of those infected are under 11.
To those who say not to vaccinate healthy children we say: the vaccine should be done to all, whether they are healthy or with previous diseases, because this infection in children does not always manifest itself as a trivial flu.
Even the youngest children are hospitalised and some end up in intensive care,” Di Mauro recalls.
Paucisymptomatic children can then bring this infection into their families and put adults at risk, even if they are vaccinated but have pathologies.
To break the chain of infection with Covid-19, which is transmitted through saliva droplets, we must vaccinate all children.
We need to do this to protect them, but also to make their peers with diseases and their families safe.
Extending the vaccination to children aged between 5 and 11 years, Sipps points out, would mean offering the possibility of reducing the risk of Covid-19 infection to some 3,700,000 children.
Covid in Italy: “From the start of the pandemic to date, there have been 783,996 cases between 0 and 19 years of age, of which about 190,000 between 5 and 11 years of age”
“It has been calculated that if this age group had already been vaccinated, assuming 80% effectiveness of the vaccine, about 140,000 of those children who have contracted the virus would not have fallen ill, “avoiding them – says Roberto Liguori, Sipps paediatrician – quarantine, social withdrawal, absence from school, distance from social and family life, as well as the risk of developing serious forms of the disease and infecting family members”.
Luciano Pinto, Sipps paediatrician, adds: “We paediatricians must insist with parents, making them understand that they should not be afraid of the vaccine, but of the disease.
An unvaccinated child not only runs the risk of falling ill, but also of being excluded from social life, from normality, which we hope will soon be restored.
Moreover, in many families, it is already the case that the unvaccinated are not welcome, and this could also affect the children in the near future.
Families need normality, we have been living badly for two years and the vaccine is the tool that can bring us back to normality. Once again, the paediatrician’s role is essential in the dialogue with the family.
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States approved the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation to vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 years against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech paediatric vaccine, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun evaluating the available data to decide whether to recommend extending the use of the same vaccine to the 5-11 year age group in Europe.
The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) is therefore awaiting the outcome of the EMA evaluation, expected in a couple of months, which will be forwarded to the European Commission, which will make the final decision.
Sipps therefore hopes that vaccination will be extended in Italy to the 5-11 year age group as soon as possible, thus helping minors and their families to resume normal relationships as soon as possible.
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