According to the 2018 National Occupation and Employment Survey (ENOE), the country has 13.7 million adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age, whose schooling includes secondary and upper secondary education. The vaccination scheme against covid-19 using the biological one from Pfizer / BioNTech is aimed at them.
Although, the governing policy for vaccination against covid-19 that was published in December of last year, highlighted that the minimum age for application of available vaccines was 16 years, last Thursday the Ministry of Health announced that the Cofepris studies resulted in the authorization of the use of BioNTech at a minimum age of 12 years.
The Health document explains that age is the first of the prioritization axes with which the number of people who died due to covid-19 would be reduced.
But sure, many have wondered why the little ones should wait longer for immunization, this is due to the following.
The period of clinical trials for immunization biologics against covid -19 was too short compared to other vaccines, he said in an interview with MILLENNIUM, Rosana Trejo, Manager of the epidemiology unit of the ABC Medical Center, added that particularly the covid-19 pandemic presented very great challenges of mortality, morbidity and spread, therefore Given the urgency of mitigating the virus, a certain population was prioritized “Evaluating that this was the best impact to lower transmission and mortality.”
The foregoing, with prior knowledge that mortality from the virus occurred mainly in older adults and people with chronic degenerative diseases. The vaccination strategy led to a reduction in infections and hospital occupancyThis was reported by the Ministry of Health in recent weeks. Now, the uncertainty about the vaccination of the pediatric population against the possible return to schools permeates the parents.
In accordance with the provisions of the Prioritization Axes of Vaccination in Mexico, “progressive allocation and gradual distribution of available vaccinesit is may be modified as the availability of biologics changes, scientific evidence increases and the safety and efficacy of available vaccines is verified ”. Thus, the results of constant studies favored an increasingly younger population.
The epidemiology specialist explained that the vaccination tests in its preclinical and clinical phase were given in parts, the first group, to which the Ministry of Health referred for a first edition of the vaccination policy, was 16 years upwards and The group that subsequently joined the tests was 12 to 15 years old, therefore, the next step is to guarantee vaccination for boys and girls from 0 to 11 years old, which, according to the Mexican Association of Vaccination, it will be possible at the end of this year or earlier.
“I suggest we wait the results of these investigations to be certain of where we are going, of course we all would like vaccines to be for everyone because we are about, at least in Mexico, to start the school topic … we are all interested in that the faster these investigations progress, we can vaccinate these little ones, “said Rosana Trejo.
A particular objective that was raised in the governing policy for vaccination against covid-19, is to immunize 95 percent of the Mexican population from the age of 16. However, even with the increase in age range, 13.2 million boys and girls between 6 and 11 years of age (primary school) twill be happy to be included in the immunization landscape, despite the urgency that the Federal Government has raised to return to the classroom.
According to information published in 2019 by the National Population Council, minors from 0 to 11 years of age represent 20 percent of the Mexican population. In this regard, Trejo explained that if we vaccinate from 12 years of age upwards, population that comprises the largest percentage of the population pyramid, transmission decreases and with this, the risk of the little ones becoming infected is greatly reduced “this is the immunity of the herd, the fewer primary cases you have of infection, the fewer secondary cases you will have of contagion.”
The return to the classroom in a scenario where the population between 6 and 11 years old is not vaccinated, he said Rosana Trejo, It could lead to a very good result or a catastrophe. “If it is already clear to us how it is transmitted (SARS CoV-2), schools have to have their protocols attention and not just putting a sanitizing mat at the entrance, taking the temperature and putting on gel, it goes further ”.
He said that the conditions of the classrooms are an important factor, “how are the rooms, if they have ventilation or not have natural ventilationIf they don’t have them, they would have to be adapted. I think today is a good time to check their infrastructure, what spaces are they going to have for children and their care ”.
He also stressed the importance of communication between teachers and parents, be attentive to the child’s risk symptoms, notify the school immediately if there is a positive at home and observe during an incubation period the response of the rest of the group. “Schools have to have their preparation plan for the return of children, children cannot stay without going to school for so long.”
“The ‘SARS’ has already stayed, it is here, it can reduce the spread but we are going to have to learn to live with it,” he said.
Covid-19 vaccination in children with cancer
Regarding vaccination in population with pathologies, the Prioritization Axes of Vaccination in Mexico also indicate that “a group considered especially vulnerable, such as children living with cancer, cannot be considered for vaccination until there are studies and specific analyzes in children under 16 years of age ”.
In this sense, the doctor spoke of a personalized investigation on the validity of immunization in a patient whose immune system is impaired; namely, the effectiveness of a dose for the child with abnormally low white blood cell indicescos. “It all depends on when the little ones are, there may be some who are neutropenic, without any immunity protection, so the response of the vaccine is not going to be very good either,” he remarked.
Mexico is not the first country to authorize this scheme. As of last May, the use of the biological in people from the age of 12 began to be approved in America and Europe, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Poland, Romania and Denmark are just a few; however, none has been authorized for use in younger children.