Covid vaccine for medically at-risk children under five recommended

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Children under five years old with medical conditions have a higher chance of getting seriously ill than their peers. Such conditions may be heart or lung problems or an immune disorder. This is why a paediatrician may recommend vaccination at specilly designated GGD (municipal health service) locations. 

The vaccination drive concerns roughly 5,000 children with increased medical risks. In taking this step, The Ministry of Health (VWS) follows the recommendation of the Health Council of the Netherlands. The Covid vaccine has been available for children over five with or without medical conditions since the start of 2022.

Children’s dosage of BioNTech/Pfizer

The parents of children under five with a serious medical condition will receive an invitation from the paediatrician from January 12th 2023. With this inviation they can make an appointment at the specially designated GGD locations. The basic treatment is three injections with the children’s dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency EMA on October 19th, 2022.

Covid vaccination for healthy under-fives unnecessary

Healthy children under five do not need a covid vaccination. Their risk of becoming seriously ill with a Covid infecton is low, the Dutch Health Authority says. MIS-C, a serious inflammation reaction after a Covid infection, rarely occurs in children under five. In addition, this complication is even rarer since the Omicron variant of the virus became dominant. Children who were infected earlier hardly ever develop MIS-C. The Health Authority therefore concludes that the number of children currently at risk of developing MIS-C is limited, because a large number of children already went through a Covid infection earlier. Thus, vaccination is hardly going to make a difference in their protection levels against MIS-C. To sum up: it is unnecessary to vaccinate children under five against Covid if they are not medically at-risk.

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