As the roll-out of vaccination progresses, we come to the point where vaccination of younger age groups such as adolescents should be considered, ”said Andrea Ammon, Director of ECDC. “Our advice highlights several important issues for decision-makers to consider. This includes the current uptake of vaccination, especially in older age groups, the incidence of COVID-19 in the population, and issues of vaccine availability and access globally.
Some EU / EEA countries have already initiated the vaccination of older adolescents with the COVID-19 Comirnaty vaccine, the use of which was authorized from the age of 16 in December 2020. On May 28, 2021, this vaccine has been approved for use in children aged 12 to 15 years in the EU.
As the course of the COVID-19 disease is generally milder in healthy adolescents, vaccine use in older groups should continue to be a priority before targeting adolescents as a whole. Vaccination of adolescents at high risk of severe COVID-19 should be given priority in the same way as vaccination of all people at high risk of severe disease in other age groups.
To inform decision-making on adolescent vaccination, the report stresses the importance of continuing to monitor the spread of variants of concern among young people and to assess the long-term effects of COVID-19.