Vaccination of Greek adolescents – the opinion of doctors and parents

Pediatricians say adolescents are now “the most vulnerable group,” and talk about the pros and cons of childhood vaccination. Parents also have their own thoughts on this matter.

Freelance spokesman, pediatrician Konstantinos Dalukas, speaks of doctors’ concerns:

“On the one hand, mutation D, on the other hand, vaccination of adults makes children the most vulnerable group for the spread of coronavirus.”

Last week, Greece, following similar actions by the United States and some European countries, approved and began vaccinating adolescents between 15 and 17 years old with Pfizer. However, vaccinations are optional. The registration platform will open tomorrow, July 13th. Appointments are allowed for all children born before January 1, 2006, but mandatory parental consent is required. Mr. Dalukas lists the undoubted benefits of vaccinating adolescents according to the data available to date:

The ability for children to attend school without tests, distance learning or quarantine in case of positive cases. The ability to avoid a severe form of the disease. Because yes, children are much less likely to get sick or can tolerate coronavirus asymptomatically. But some of them can become seriously ill, requiring treatment in an intensive care unit. Sometimes, unfortunately, the disease ends in death. A small percentage of children with covid may develop MIS-C, a multisystem inflammatory syndrome. This is an extremely serious condition that can manifest itself several weeks after COVID-19, requiring hospitalization or resuscitation. Some children who have even had an asymptomatic coronavirus, 4 weeks after the illness, may experience symptoms from the central nervous system – fatigue, severe headache, inability to concentrate, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety attacks. Complications of covid include cough, joint and chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, myocarditis, and kidney problems. The etiology is currently unknown.

Mr. Dalukas honestly talks about the nuances:

“In fairness, adolescent vaccination skepticism includes known or potentially unknown reactions that can occur after children are vaccinated. Serious side effects of coronavirus vaccines are rare thromboembolic events seen after Astrazeneca vaccination and Johnson & Johnson vaccine, mainly in women under the age of 55-60, and in rare cases, myocarditis or pericarditis at age 25 with mRNA vaccines. It is very likely that when vaccines other than Pfizer are approved for children, we will need to decide which drug to administer to boys and which to girls to reduce the risk of adverse reactions. ”

But there is a category of children with an underlying disease. And here Konstantinos Dalukas is categorical:

“These children should be vaccinated against the coronavirus immediately because if they become infected with the virus, they could risk being hospitalized with a serious illness or even losing their lives.”

What do parents think about vaccinating their children? As expected, opinions are divided. Markella Dimou, a mother of three children, 15, 13 and 11 years old, talks in detail about her attitude to childhood vaccination:

“My feelings and thoughts about this are mixed, as they have been throughout the entire pandemic. Science is so intertwined with politics that doubts are sometimes inevitable. I believe that at this stage there are two ways: either you support science and follow its requirements, or you choose the path of doubt. The first road was chosen by the whole family, with children too. Of course, I would appreciate it if their grandparents could build the coveted wall of immunity, but if that doesn’t happen, we will help. However, I am generally concerned about the holiness we face with older people in our country, as opposed to the image that is being promoted for children. They were considered a health bomb, careless, indifferent. So what is now with the large percentage of unvaccinated elderly people, what are the health bombs? Who will bring the health care system to its knees when they start returning to intensive care? “

Markella’s eldest son comes under a recent decision by the National Vaccination Committee. Mother says:

“He wants to be vaccinated! And I think it makes sense, because in general the conversations in our home are in favor of vaccination. He wants to go to school, see his friends, train, he doesn’t want to be afraid. When the time comes for the youngest children, it will be the same, I think. “

However, Markela expresses concerns and doubts about the so-called herd immunity:

“I believe that most parents will not be vaccinated. Most of my friends belong to a team that has confidence in science, so yes, they expect and will move on. Unfortunately, I think this is a minority. That most of the children will not be vaccinated, so the picture of the school year will not change. “

Pepi Nikolopoulou, mother of 13-year-old and 9-year-old daughters, expresses her opinion:

“I read and try to be as informed as possible. Of course, I think that if this is a recommendation, I will vaccinate my girls. Clearly, of course, I expect all adults to do the same. Am I worried that my children may need to do their part to strengthen their immune system? I don’t think so. We educate responsible citizens who need to be aware of their personal responsibility in advance. Accordingly, we adults must protect them. Work in a spirit of responsibility. It will be terribly frustrating to face a new wave of pandemic. It will really hurt everyone, especially the kids. ”

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