On May 17, Germany announced that all people over the age of 16 can apply for the Covid-19 vaccination from June 7. Ten days later, her ambitions revised up. A l’issue d’une visioconférence de quatre heures avec les chefs des 16 Länder du pays, Angela Merkel a déclaré, jeudi 27 mai, qu’il serait finalement possible de se faire vacciner dès l’âge de 12 ans a compter du 7 June.
This imminent opening of vaccinations for children between the ages of 12 and 15 does not mean that they have priority over the rest of the population. “Due to the limited quantities of vaccines available, there will be no specific dates for this age group in the short term.” The chancellor warned, adding that returning to normal school after the summer vacation will not be conditional on the number of students who will be vaccinated by that time.
Mandate without imposition, allow without restrictions: Angela Merkel’s statements are the result of a hidden compromise. On the one hand, the German authorities want to show that they are doing everything they can to speed up the vaccination campaign in hopes of making people forget about its difficult beginnings. On the one hand, they want to avoid making arguments to those who chastise them for volunteering which is dangerous from a medical point of view and adventurous from a logistical point of view.
Lack of accurate data
This is the case of the Vaccine Committee (Stiko) of the Robert Koch Institute of Public Health. Although it has not yet published an official opinion on the vaccination of children between the ages of 12 and 15, many of its members have already expressed reservations about this topic, citing in particular the lack of accurate data on the possible side effects of vaccines. Age group. Like the Berlin pediatrician Martin Terhart, for whom “Knowledge of the risks is not clear enough at this stage to recommend general vaccination for children between the ages of 12 and 15.” Within Stiko, many voices have been voiced in recent days to call for the vaccination of only young people with chronic illnesses.
This is not the first time that the German government has encountered the scientists assigned to advise it on vaccine policy. In mid-May, the latter had fiercely criticized the idea of offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults, regardless of their age, profession or health condition, not just people over the age of 60, as had been the case until then. At that time, M.I Merkel had ignored this, preferring to satisfy the public opinion eager to vaccinate as soon as possible instead of satisfying the experts associated with the principle of precaution.
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