Vaccination of children under 12 to roll out only after the New Year's

Ministry expects the delivery of children vaccines by Pfizer/BionTech by the end of 2021.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the Covid vaccine by Pfizer for younger kids last week. In Slovakia, the vaccination for this age group will be not available until the beginning of 2022, the Health Ministry expects.

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The reason is that the ministry expects the delivery of special children vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds, which Slovakia ordered and should arrive to the country shortly before the Christmas holiday, said ministry’s spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová for the Sme daily.

Children older than 12 may register for Covid vaccination at the moment. As of November 26, nearly 74,500 teenagers were fully vaccinated in Slovakia.

The vaccination of younger children, the 5-11 age group, was launched in early September 2021, but only for children with serious diagnoses and their siblings from whom they could catch the Covid.

In such a case, registration and a recommendation from a paediatrician and doctor–specialist is required. A child receives third of the dose. 267 children of ages between five and 11 have been vaccinated in Slovakia at three specialised centres – Bratislava, Košice and Martin.

People hesitant over children's vaccination

The vaccination of children should be voluntary. The agreement of a parent or legal guardian will be required. The vaccination will take place in the vaccination centres where other age groups are getting their jabs. Only if interest is great will the ministry plan to involve paediatricians.

Polls suggest that this is unlikely. The mid-September AKO polling agency's poll for the JOJ television conducted in mid-September suggested that only 4 percent of the respondents would certainly have their children vaccinated. The other 9.5 percent said that probably yes.

On the other hand, 67 percent of those polled said they will certainly not get their child vaccinated against Covid-19, while 13.6 percent said that probably no.

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