Another European Nation Puts a Stop to Covid-19 Vaccinations for Young People
Another European nation has decided to put an end to mRNA shots for Covid-19 for healthy young persons under the age of 18. The guidance was changed by the Swedish health authority in a notice at the end of September.
“The general recommendation for basically healthy children aged 12–17 years to vaccinate against covid-19 ends after 31 October,” the notice said in Swedish. “The reason is the very low risk of serious illness and death from covid-19 in children and young people. In the future, vaccination against Covid-19 is recommended for children in special groups.”
“During the pandemic, few children and young people have become seriously ill from covid-19,” the notice goes on. “Current knowledge and epidemiology show that the virus variants for SARS-CoV-2 cause increasingly mild symptoms for fundamentally healthy children and young people, and that immunity in the group is very high.”
“Overall, we see that the need for care as a result of Covid-19 has been low among children and young people during the pandemic, and has also decreased since the omicron virus variant began to spread,” the Swedish authority continues. “At this stage of the pandemic, we do not see a continued need for vaccination in this group. Therefore, we are removing the recommendation on general vaccination against covid-19 for ages 12 to 17, says Sören Andersson, head of unit at the Public Health Agency.”
The Swedish health authority also made it clear that physicians should evaluate the recommendation in light of the general state of health for the young person.
“The general recommendation on vaccination against Covid-19 is only removed for fundamentally healthy children in the 12-17 year age group,” the notice adds. “For those who have turned 18, the recommendation for adults applies, that you should take three doses to have basic protection against Covid-19.”
“The Public Health Authority’s decision has been made after dialogue with representatives of relevant organisations, including the Swedish Association of Pediatricians and the National Program Area (NPO) for child and adolescent health,” the noitce concludes. “The state of knowledge and the epidemiology of covid-19 is continuously monitored. In the event of a possible change in the situation for children and young people in Sweden, the recommendations may change.”
Sweden joins Denmark in announcing that vaccination is no longer recommended for healthy individuals under age 50. In September, Denmark changed its guidance.
“The Danish Health Authority (DHA) expects that the number of covid-19 infections will increase during autumn and winter,” the DHA announced. “Therefore, we recommend vaccination of people aged 50 years and over as well as selected risk groups.”
“With the autumn vaccination programme, we aim to prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and death,” the DHA continued. “The risk of becoming severely ill from covid-19 increases with age. Therefore, people who have reached the age of 50 and particularly vulnerable people will be offered vaccination. We expect that many people will be infected with covid-19 during autumn and winter. It is therefore important that the population remembers the guidance on how to prevent infection, which also applies to a number of other infectious diseases.”
“Why are people aged under 50 not to be re-vaccinated?” the DHA responds to this question in the fact sheet. “The purpose of the vaccination programme is to prevent severe illness, hospitalisation and death. Therefore, people at the highest risk of becoming severely ill will be offered booster vaccination. The purpose of vaccination is not to prevent infection with covid-19, and people aged under 50 are therefore currently not being offered booster vaccination.”
“People aged under 50 are generally not at particularly higher risk of becoming severely ill from covid-19,” the DHA continued. “In addition, younger people aged under 50 are well protected against becoming severely ill from covid-19, as a very large number of them have already been vaccinated and have previously been infected with covid-19, and there is consequently good immunity among this part of the population.”
“It is important that the population also remembers the guidance on how to prevent the spread of infection, including staying at home in case of illness, frequent aeration or ventilation, social distancing, good coughing etiquette, hand hygiene and cleaning,” the DHA added.
In a section on “Vaccination of children against covid-19,” the DHA states, “Children and adolescents rarely become severely ill from the Omicron variant of covid-19.”
“From 1 July 2022, it was no longer possible for children and adolescents aged under 18 to get the first injection and, from 1 September 2022, it was no longer possible for them to get the second injection,” the DHA added. “A very limited number of children at particularly higher risk of becoming severely ill will still be offered vaccination based on an individual assessment by a doctor.”
Denmark has repeatedly been listed as the nation with the highest quality of life in the world, according to such indexes as the Standard of Living survey performed by the Social Progress Imperative. The Quality of Life index takes into account a number of factors, including “the health, comfort and the happiness of a specific group.”
Nordic countries have long been at the forefront of taking a sensible approach to Covid-19 vaccination when it comes to assessing at-risk groups. Iceland, for example, did not state it as a policy goal to get healthy young persons under 16 years old vaccinated for Covid-19. Finland, however, is an outlier in that it recommends children between 12 and 17 receive the mRNA shots for the virus. It also recommended children over five receive the jabs if they are in ‘high risk’ households.
In April 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Infection reported that 75% of children had been exposed to Covid-19 as of February 2022, according to seroprevalence data. This means that the overwhelming majority of children in the U.S. have natural immunity, which has been shown to be transferable between variants, durable in fighting infection, and longer lasting than the mRNA shots.