Latvia will permit Covid-19 vaccination for 5 to 11-year-olds

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The State Council for Immunization (IVP) has supported the vaccination of children in the 5-11 age group against Covid-19  while stressing that vaccination of seniors and risk groups is still the priority, said the Head of IVP, Professor Dace Zavadska, December 1.

She said that, in the light of the scientific and evidence-based information currently available, the IVP generally supports vaccination against Covid-19 in children between 5 and 11 years, but it is currently specifically recommended to start vaccinating all children at risk in a serious course of Covid-19.

These include children with oncological illness, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular illness, and other chronic illnesses.

Child dose vaccines are expected to be available at the end of December, so it would be possible to start vaccination at the end of December or early January with the first dose, which would already be sufficient to initiate the primary immune response. The second dose is recommended three months after the first dose. Children with high immunosuppression, on the other hand, need three doses to complete the primary vaccination course.

Zavadska explained that children should receive an age-appropriate vaccine, regardless of their size or weight. In children, it is three times smaller than in adults.

Like in adults, if a child has had and recovered from Covid-19, only one dose is necessary. The anticipated vaccination reactions in children are very similar to those in adolescents or adults: increased body temperature, pain at the injection site, chills, fatigue. Side effects are expected to disappear within a few days. The IVP added that similar reactions caused by such vaccines were also observed in the use of other vaccines.

Serious health problems are rare after the Covid-19 vaccination. In adolescents and young people following vaccination of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer shell of the heart) have been mentioned as a rare risk, but no cases of myocarditis or pericarditis in children aged 5 to 11 years have been reported in the clinical trial (n = 3,082). At the same time, the IVP noted that the number of participants included in the study was insufficient to assess the risk of myocarditis.


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