Why do some people think that the World Health Organization has said that children should not be vaccinated against COVID?
Maybe because it is actually true…
Did the WHO Say That Children Should Not Be Vaccinated Against COVID?
“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people 18 years and older, including those with pre-existing conditions of any kind, including auto-immune disorders. These conditions include: hypertension, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary, liver and kidney disease, as well as chronic infections that are stable and controlled.”COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated
The WHO certainly wants most folks to get vaccinated and protected!
The thing is that while six COVID vaccines have an Emergency Use Listing by the WHO, none are authorized for children.
Well, at least not by the World Health Organization.
“So the reason that today in June 2021, WHO is saying that vaccinating children is not a priority is because children, though they can get infected with Covid-19 and they can transmit the infection to others, they are at much lower risk of getting severe disease compared to older adults. And that is why when we started prioritizing people who should get the vaccination when there are limited supplies of vaccines available in the country, we recommend that we start with health care workers and frontline workers who are at very high risk of exposure to the infection.
Also, elderly, the people who have underlying illnesses that make them at high risk to develop severe disease and start with those groups, protect them first, because we want to reduce the death rates that we are seeing today globally and then gradually come down age-wise in the population till we get to children. And again, while there may be some children who are at higher risk of getting the severe disease because of some underlying illnesses or vulnerabilities or comorbidities, those children potentially could be prioritised for vaccines when they become available.
But children as a group form a much lower priority group.”Dr Soumya Swaminathan – Episode #42 – Vaccines and children
It is easy to see that this is mostly about supply and has nothing to do about vaccine safety or efficacy…
With billions of people still needing to get vaccinated and protected, the WHO is prioritizing those who are most at risk.
“So most vaccine companies and developers are currently doing studies in children, starting with the 12 to 18 year olds and then progressively going down to younger and younger age groups. So as that scientific data comes out of the studies, the SAGE, which is the strategic advisory group of experts on immunization that actually develops vaccination policy for WHO, which is then adopted by many countries. The SAGE will look at this data as it comes and make recommendations on how the vaccine should be used in children, at what dosage, what interval, etc. whether there are any safety precautions or contraindications, all of that will be provided in detail. But again, to go back to the point of children, except for very few children who are at a high risk, not considered to be a high priority right now because we have limited doses of vaccines, we need to use them to protect the most vulnerable.”Dr Soumya Swaminathan – Episode #42 – Vaccines and children
And with limited doses of vaccines in most countries, there are many more people they are focusing on to get vaccinated and protected right now, including health care workers, the elderly, and anyone with a high risk medical condition.
What about those countries that have plenty of vaccines?
Many are questioning whether they should be moving to vaccinating kids vs donating those doses to other countries that have limited supplies and still have many higher risk people to get vaccinated and protected.
The thinking is that while kids do not have zero risk of severe COVID disease or death, as some people say, it is much lower than many other higher risk groups.
For this strategy to work though, most adults need to get vaccinated so that you don’t need vaccinated kids to help reach herd immunity levels that will keep COVID disease away. Otherwise, especially with some of the new variants, new COVID surges will continue to lead to disease and death and prolong the pandemic everywhere.
The WHO Statement on Vaccinating Children Fact Check
The World Health Organization is not against vaccinating children. With a limited supply of vaccines, they simply support a strategy of vaccinating higher risk adults before moving toward vaccinating children.
More on COVID Vaccines for Kids
- COVID-19 Vaccination Goals
- More on Transient Myocarditis and COVID Vaccines
- EUA vs Licensure of COVID Vaccines for Younger Kids
- The Truth About COVID-19 Vaccines
- COVID Vaccine Contraindications
- What Are the COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects?
- About Those Urgent COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Warnings
- Opinion: Coronavirus vaccinations for young children should be an urgent priority
- WHO – COVID-19 advice for the public: Getting vaccinated
- WHO – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Use of Emergency Use Listing procedure for vaccines against COVID-19
- WHO – Episode #42 – Vaccines and children
- Covid vaccine map: how are countries around the world doing?
- The race to vaccinate the World
- Vaccinating children before poor morally wrong, Oxford scientist says
- COVID-19 vaccines: 5 reasons why dose donations are essential
- The Ethics of Prioritizing COVID-19 Vaccination