The balance between benefits and risks of vaccinating 16 and 17-year-olds against Covid-19 with mRNA vaccines is very similar to that for adults, member of the government’s epidemiological team Zoe Dorothea Pana said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Pana said that vaccinating teenagers is a practice that was approved by both the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
She said date has been collected from 18 different vaccines from the US, Israel and from other countries that have started vaccinating teenagers.
“Their pathophysiology reflects the one registered after vaccinating adults and the data from clinical studies and ongoing vaccination campaigns confirm this.
“The positive data is the main reason why the Cyprus Paediatric Society has given its full recommendations for vaccinating teenagers, which is also a common practice for other European Union member states,” Pana said.
She also said that, like any other vaccine, parental consent plays the role of an additional security screening.
“We are making a common effort to increase Cyprus’ vaccination coverage, including teenagers. The official approval of the EMA and the FDA is not easily given, that should be enough of a reassurance for everyone regarding vaccinating teenagers.”
Commenting on the recent reports of myocarditis around the world observed in teenagers after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, Pana said that those cases are currently being studied.
She said that cases of myocarditis are seen in teenagers after receiving any vaccine and this is the result not of the vaccine, but the virus itself.
“It is a known fact that where there is a benefit, there is also a risk,” she said.
Pana added that there needs to be a continuous dialogue with parents to explain to them the importance and the value of vaccinating their children against coronavirus.
“We must listen and understand their legitimate concerns and doubts and show them the data that allowed the vaccines to be approved in order to gain their trust.”
Pana also said that the European scientific community is currently concerned about the fact that while a satisfactory number of adults have been vaccinated, not many people belonging to younger generations, including teenagers, have.
“That means that new variants and mutations, like the Delta one, could still make their way among adults and teenagers alike,” Pana concluded.