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The vaccination offer for children is mainly so that everyone can go back to school in person

Germany to start vaccinating 5 to 11 year-olds

Germany to start vaccinating 5 to 11 year-olds

The move should limit the spread of COVID-19 through schools and allow children to get in-person education

The vaccination campaign for children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Germany will start this week with every federal state having a slightly different timetable. Berlin, for instance, will go forward with inoculation appointments from 15 December.

Authorities will distribute 2.2 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine to health centres, as, according to the German Paediatricians Association, there should be a very high willingness to vaccinate. Thomas Fischbach, the president of the association, was quoted by the "Rheinische Post", explaining that if vaccination rates for teenagers are anything to go by, then the campaign will be off to a good start.

The jab campaign for teenagers in Germany started back in September and it has already achieved a 50% rate.

Lower doses for children in risk groups

The German Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) has issued some guidelines on which child should get the vaccine. The first group is kids that have underlying conditions that make a severe case of COVID-19 more likely should get it.

The same goes for children in households with parents and relatives that have underlying conditions. The rationale behind this recommendation is that as many kids as possible should be able to go to school in person.

For healthy children in low-risk households, STIKO recommends individual consultations with paediatricians. Furthermore, children between 5 and 11 years will receive a lower dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. According to STIKO, doses of the mRNA vaccine should be administered at intervals of three to six weeks.

Currently, many federal states have opted for creating separate vaccination routes for children. While adults still mainly receive their shots in the vaccination centres, children will be able to get theirs during a paediatrician’s visit in separate spaces at the vaccination centres.

The head of the Federal Association of Doctors of the Public Health Service, Ute Teichert, explained that a good long-term strategy for children would be administering booster shots in daycare centres, kindergartens and schools.

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