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Health council backs jabs for younger children with health problems

Photo: SELF Magazine

The Dutch health council Gezondheidsraad is recommending that children aged five to 11 who are at risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus should be vaccinated with the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine.

The first child doses are expected to arrive in the Netherlands at the end of the month, and priority should be given to children with chronic health problems, the council said.

The recommendation covers children with lung disease, heart defects and Down syndrome because they are more likely to end up in hospital and have a higher risk of developing serious inflammation of their organs, the health council said.

Paediatricians should recommend exactly who should be vaccinated because ‘children with these conditions are almost always treated by a specialist in children’s medicine.’

The health council said it will publish recommendations on vaccinating children who do not have chronic health conditions shortly.

The cabinet asked the health council about its views on the vaccination of children at the end of October. On November 25, the European Medicines Agency cleared the use of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine for five to 11-year-olds.

The vaccinate is 90% effective for children, the EU agency said.

The American Food and Drug Administration cleared the vaccine for use in children at the end of October.

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