GENEVA – As youngsters and adolescents are at lower risk of extreme COVID-19 illness, nations should prioritise adults and sharing vaccine doses with the COVAX programme to deliver provides to poorer nations, the World Health Organisation stated on Wednesday.
Some uncommon instances of coronary heart irritation known as myocarditis have been reported in youthful males who acquired vaccines primarily based on mRNA technoloy – Pfizer BioNtech and Moderna – however these have been typically gentle and responded to remedy, it stated.
Although that risk had not been absolutely decided, it was lower than the risk of myocarditis linked to SARS-CoV-2 an infection, it stated.
The WHO’s interim steerage was issued as extra regulatory companies authorise sure vaccines to be used in youngsters, together with the United States, China, European Union, India and Israel, and most lately Canada final week.
“As children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults, unless they are in a group at higher risk of severe COVID-19, it is less urgent to vaccinate them than older people, those with chronic health conditions and health workers,” the WHO stated.
Children can expertise “long COVID-19” with extended signs however this was nonetheless underneath investigation, it stated.
Several risk components for extreme COVID-19 in youngsters have been reported together with older age, weight problems and pre-present circumstances together with sort 2 diabetes, bronchial asthma and coronary heart illness, it added.
Maintaining schooling for all faculty-aged youngsters should be an necessary precedence in the course of the pandemic, though transmission mitigation measures is likely to be wanted in faculties, the WHO stated.
Given vaccine provide constraints, immunisation programmes should concentrate on defending teams at excessive risk of hospitalisation and loss of life, the WHO stated.
“As many parts of the world face extreme vaccine shortages, countries with high coverage in at-risk populations should prioritize global sharing of COVID-19 vaccines before vaccinating children, adolescents,” it stated.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Jon Boyle and Alex Richardson)