Scientists argue that children should get vaccinated against COVID-19 if Cyprus wants to rid itself of coronavirus by reaching herd immunity.
Talking to a Sigma TV assistant professor in Pharmacology at the University of Cyprus Medical School, Dr Nikolas Dietis argued that scientists across the globe accept that children need to get vaccinated.
Inoculating children and young people is critical to reaching herd immunity and taming the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that children play a role in transmitting the virus.
“We know the rest of the population is not fully vaccinated. So, for the virus to be eliminated from the community as soon as possible, children will have to be vaccinated at some point,” Dietis said.
Although, scientists do disagree on when and on what evidence children should be vaccinated.
“Should all children be vaccinated en masse, or should we vaccinate only children with underlying diseases?”
He clarified that emergency licenses have already been issued to vaccinate children aged 12-16.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is already authorised for emergency use in anyone 12 and older in the US, Canada, and the European Union. They receive the same dose as adults: 30 micrograms.
It is also conducting clinical trials on groups of younger children under 12, while Moderna is a step away from acquiring such a license.
Talking about safety, the doctor argued that clinical trials so far reveal that vaccines are even safer for children than for the older population.
“The question we often get is whether the 2-3 thousand children who took part in the studies are enough to be 100% sure and continue with the vaccination.”
He said the physiology of an adult is not much different than that of a young teenager, “so there is no cause of particular concern”.
Asked whether people will need a booster vaccine, Dietis said that depends on how extensive our immunity will be from the vaccinations we have already conducted.
“The studies that are being done for the third dose are made for scientists to be ready, in case it is proven that a third dose is needed”.
Dr Dietis said that if a decline in herd immunity is observed, then a third COVID vaccines jab may be necessary.