Latvia’s National Immunisation Council approves Covid-19 vaccination of 5 to 11 year old children

Latvia’s National Immunisation Council (IVP) has approved Covid-19 vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years old. The council still stresses the importance of vaccination for seniors and risk groups, said Prof. Dace Zavadska after a meeting of IVP.
She stressed that vaccination of seniors and risk groups is a priority, as is administering booster shots.
Considering the available scientific information, IVP generally supports Covid-19 vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years. However, it is not recommended to all children who fall in this category. These include children who suffer from different forms of cancer, obesity, sugar diabetes, cardio vascular illnesses and chronic organ illnesses, the professor explains.
European Medicines Agency (EMA) has registered Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Comirnaty for the purposes of vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years.
Read also: European Medicines Agency permits use of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on 5-11 year old children
IVP predicts child vaccination in Latvia may commence at the end of December. The second injection for children is recommended to be administered three months after the first.
IVP specialists say that because not a lot of information is available about the new Omicron Covid-19 variant, initially it will be recommended to administer one shot of the vaccine. For the second vaccine shot specialists will recommend waiting a longer period of time – preferably three months.
«In three months we expect to have more detailed information about the Omicron variant and the vaccines that work against it. This is when we expect it will be safe to administer the second shot for children. If for some reason the child requires to receive the second shot sooner, it may be permitted based on information available about vaccines,» explains IVP member, infectologist Uga Dumpis.
«Children should receive an appropriate vaccine form, regardless of their size or weight. For children the vaccine will be packaged in special bottles with an orange cap. This will help reduce the risk of errors and doctors administering larger doses to children. This is why IVP objects to giving children adult doses of Covid-19 vaccines,» stresses Zavadska.
The Covid-19 vaccine dose should be based on the age of the child on the day the vaccine is administered. If a child receives the first dose at the age of 11 years and the child turns 12 by the time of the second shot, both doses should be the same – 10 µg.
However, if a child aged 5 to 11 years accidentally receives 30 µg dose for the first shot, the second should be no larger than 10 µg and it should be administered no sooner than 21 days after the first or with an interval of three months.
If a 5 to 11 year old child receives 30 µg of Covid-19 vaccine for the second shot, primary vaccination is to be considered completed.
Side-effects from Covid-19 vaccination are rare among children. Teenagers and young people in general have a rare risk of suffering myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) after receiving Covid-19 vaccination using Comirnaty vaccine. Clinical tests revealed no reports of myocarditis or pericarditis among children aged 5 to 11 years. It should be said, however, that the number of study participants was insufficient to accurately measure the risk of myocarditis, says Zavadska.
Covid-19 vaccine is safe to be administered for adults and children together with other vaccines, including flu vaccines, on the same day or with an interval before and after Covid-19 jab.