It is the first time that a vaccine against Covid-19 has been approved in France for babies. On Monday, December 19, the French health authorities recommended a vaccine against Covid-19, the one from Pfizer-BioNTech, “for children aged 6 months to 4 years at risk of a severe form of the disease and death”but without doing so for this entire age group, as in the United States.
The statements from the High Authority for Health (HAS) are theoretically indicative, but the Ministry of Health follows them almost systematically. However, the French health authorities’ recommendation is much stricter than the advice given by their European counterparts a few weeks ago.
They had recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for all babies aged 6 months to 4 years, judging that the benefits outweighed the risks. They had also recommended another vaccine, the one from Moderna, for all children aged 6 months to 5 years.
Very few children vaccinated
These statements were in line with the decisions made in the United States, where for several months all babies over 6 months can be vaccinated against Covid-19. The French authorities have so far only approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and, above all, have limited it to very specific categories of babies. These are essentially those who are at risk of serious complications.
This includes “Children who have any of these comorbidities: congenital heart disease, chronic liver disease, chronic heart and respiratory disease – including severe asthma requiring ongoing treatment, neurological disease, primary or drug-induced immunodeficiency, obesity, diabetes, hematological malignancies, sickle cell disease and trisomy 21 », shows HAS. In addition, cases of “recent cancer, chronic kidney disease or neurological disability”.
Finally, vaccination is also recommended for children whose family is at risk of a serious form of Covid-19. This statement is part of a context where very few French children are vaccinated against Covid, while vaccination has been open for at least 12 years since the end of 2021.