On Thursday, Sweden’s Health Agency rejected COVID vaccines for children in the age group of 5–11, citing a lack of “clear benefit” that outweighs the dangers.
“With the knowledge we have today, with a low risk for serious disease for kids, we don’t see any clear benefit with vaccinating them,” Health Agency official Britta Björkholm declared at a press briefing, reports Reuters.
The “milder” symptoms of the omicron strain were mentioned as a justification for the Swedish Public Health Agency’s ruling, according to Swedish news outlet Svenska Dagbladet, in addition to the fact that “children rarely suffer from serious illness” as a consequence of COVID-19.
Björkholm additionally acknowledged that “even if it is a safe vaccine” with “few side effects, there is always a minimal risk” to such “vaccines.”
She went on to say that if additional scientific discoveries or a newer COVID variant arose, they might reconsider their choice. In Sweden, children who are deemed high-risk already have accessibility to COVID vaccinations.
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While “registered” infection frequencies are elevated, hospitals and healthcare institutions are “not under the same strain as during previous waves,” according to Reuters.
According to Sverige Radio, Björkholm also stated that since the symptoms of the omicron strain really aren’t “as severe” as earlier variants, they believe they should start “phas[ing] out” “infection control measures” in February.