It may be possible to vaccinate 16- and 17-year-olds against covid as early as this autumn, the Public Health Agency for Ekot states.
The authority is currently discussing with the pediatricians’ association which groups of young people are most in need of a vaccination.
This could be, for example, the teenagers who are at risk of severe covid due to underlying diseases.
Bernice Aronsson, som is a pediatrician and investigator at the Public Health Agency tells Ekot that it is good to take the issue step by step and start with 16-17-year-olds who may have a possible increased risk of severe covid-19. The authority looks at what recommendations can be introduced and considers what benefits a vaccination of young people can bring.
Several studies are currently underway on how safe and effective the vaccines are for young people between the ages of 12 and 17. Three manufacturers have begun studies and the first results are expected in April for PfizerBioNtec’s vaccine.
Because it does not If there are any results of the vaccines’ effects on young people yet, the Swedish Public Health Agency has no recommendations regarding vaccination of children and young people.
But Sweden’s vaccine coordinator Richard Bergström predicted this week that children and young people may be vaccinated already in the autumn when he believes that Sweden will have more vaccines.
The Swedish Public Health Agency is now in continuous discussions with, among others, the pediatricians’ association to see which groups of children and young people can benefit from covid vaccinations, and which in that case should be vaccinated first. For example, it is about avoiding difficult conditions such as long-term covid or hyperinflammation in children, but also about stopping larger outbreaks that could lead to more mutations.
Bernice Aronsson points out that it is about protecting children and young people in the face of an uncertain future.
– It can be important to create a basic protection as soon as we feel confident that it is possible to vaccinate children and young people even in the face of what may come in the future with mutations and changes and so on, she concludes.