Stiko recommends booster vaccination for 12 to 17 year olds

New vaccination recommendation
The permanent vaccination committee recommends boosters for 12 to 17 year olds

A girl is vaccinated against the coronavirus a second time. She will soon have her third vaccination.

© Philipp Schulze / DPA

The Stiko is expanding its vaccination recommendation. Accordingly, children and young people from the age of 12 should now also receive a refresher.

Because of the rapidly expanding Omikron variant, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has now also recommended the booster vaccination for children and adolescents aged 12 and over. As the commission announced on Thursday, the booster should take place three months after the second vaccination. For the third spade, too, Stiko recommends the vaccine from the manufacturer Biontech. “To optimize the basic immunization after a single vaccination” with the COVID-19 vaccine Janssen, “an mRNA vaccine” is still recommended, according to the press release.

The vaccination protection provided by the currently available vaccines is also decreasing in the age group of 12 to 17 year olds, explains the Stiko in its latest recommendation. “In addition, the effectiveness of the vaccination with regard to the prevention of symptomatic infections is significantly reduced by the Omikron variant compared to delta infections.” A refresher could improve vaccination protection and reduce the likelihood of virus transmission. The Stiko hopes that this will weaken the exponential growth in the number of new infections every day.

Stiko does not rule out side effects

At the same time, the Commission admits that the data on the effectiveness and safety of booster vaccinations among young people has not yet been fully clarified. However, she rates the risk of possible vaccine side effects as low. Vaccination reactions like those after the second vaccination are to be expected. Federal Health Minister Lauterbach asked Stiko to develop a recommendation for booster vaccinations for young people. “It’s good that the vaccination commission reacted so quickly,” he said on Thursday.

The Stiko last recommended the corona vaccination for five to eleven year olds with previous illnesses at the beginning of December. The recommendation also applies to children “in whose environment there are contact persons at high risk of a severe course of COVID-19”. However, if they so wish, children without a previous illness could also be vaccinated, it said.


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