Saturday 10/16/21

Finland aims to vaccinate all children over 12 years of age

THL says the efficacy of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine "has been found to be excellent" among young people aged 12-15
FILED - 10 January 2021, Bavaria, Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm: A health worker holds a Biontech and Pfizer coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine vial during a vaccination campaign. The coronavirus vaccine produced by BioNTech/Pfizer can be used for children aged 12 and up, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulatory body. Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa/dpa-tmn
A health worker holds a Pfizer coronavirus vaccine vial. Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa.

Finland is jumping on the train of general vaccination of children over 12 years of age.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is proposing the introduction of coronavirus vaccinations in Finland for all children aged 12–15. Until now, the health agency had recommended vaccinating only 12-15-year-olds who are in risk groups.

According to a statement by THL, young people would be given the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine because it is the only one with a conditional marketing authorization granted by the European Commission for the 12–15 age group.

THL says the efficacy of the vaccine in this age group "has been found to be excellent" in the study that preceded the marketing authorization. According to the study, children 12-15 got a similar immune response as those aged 16-25.

The adverse effects were also similar to those seen in older age groups. Young people who were studied were seen to have mild and temporary symptoms such as redness at the vaccination site, headache, and fever.

No safety concerns

“As vaccinations help prevent infections, they would also reduce the need for restrictions targeting children and young people”, says Hanna Nohynek, Chief Physician at THL.

The Pfizer/Biontech vaccine is currently used extensively among those 12 years of age and older in the United States, where no safety concerns have arisen concerning especially this age group in the safety monitoring of the vaccines.

Monitoring of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine continues after the initiation of the vaccination effort both in Finland and internationally. 

The Finnish Institute for Welfare and Health has issued a statement to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the vaccination of those aged 12–15. A decision on the matter will be made by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.