Saturday 04 February 2023

Teenagers in vulnerable health will get coronavirus vaccine, minister says


Teenagers who fall into medical at-risk groups because they have heart problems or are obese for example, will be invited to get vaccinated against coronavirus, health minister Hugo de Jonge said on Wednesday.

The national health council Gezondheidsraad has recommended that children with vulnerable health conditions should be given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which has been cleared for use among the under-18s. ‘Vaccinating these children will deliver both direct and indirect health benefits,’ the health council said.

Family doctors will also be able to use their discretion to decide if other children should also be vaccinated

De Jonge said he expected the decision will cover 60,000 to 100,000 teenagers and that they will be invited to set up an appointment from the end of June.

‘The youngsters who can now be invited for vaccination have had to be very careful in recent months,’ he said.For them, a vaccination is not only protection against coronavirus, but also the key to more freedom: going to school without worry, meeting friends and getting a job.’

The health council is also recommending that everyone over the age of 12 be vaccinated in a household where a vulnerable adult cannot have a vaccination for medical reasons.

Ultimately, the cabinet plans to vaccinate all children, preferably before the autumn, De Jonge said. Some 280,000 children in the Netherlands have been diagnosed with coronavirus since the pandemic began.

Research by I&O Research published by NOS on Wednesday showed that six in 10 people think healthy children aged 12 to 17 should be vaccinated, but people without children living at home are more likely to think so.

People born in 1988 are currently being called up to make a vaccine appointment. So far, nearly 11 million doses of vaccine have been given in the Netherlands.

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