The Icelandic government is considering vaccinating children aged 12 to 15, as most vaccinations are coming to an end in the next two weeks. At the moment, the infection rate is low in Iceland, leading the government to put the vaccinations of children on hold until further research results are available.
Pfitzer-Biontech approved for children
In late May, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine for children aged 12 to 15. Though it varies in each country, whether children are vaccinated yet. A professor of immunology told RÚV that there is no reason to vaccinate children just yet, as the infection rate is low.
However, if the Delta variant were to spread in the community, children under 16 could be at risk as they are still unvaccinated.
Ragnheiður Ósk Erlendsdóttir, director of nursing at the Capital Area Health Service, states that children will not be vaccinated in the same manner as adults have been. “If the epidemiologist decides to vaccinate children, we will just move it into traditional school health care,” she says.
She encourages parents to wait until further research results are published for this specific group. Ingileif Jónsdóttir, professor of immunology, says the Pfizer study is promising. “As things stand now with a low level of infection, it may not be necessary to vaccinate children. But if more infectious variants are to be released here, such as the Delta variant, which is dominant in Europe, […] then the children are exposed,” Ingileif explains.
Traveling with unvaccinated children is not recommended
For now, it is important to make sure that harmful variants are not entering the country and spreading, while children are still vulnerable. The epidemiologist advised people not to travel with children who are still unvaccinated.
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