In hindsight, we didn’t benefit much from vaccinating children, admits director of Danish health authority

We have learned and would not do the same today," says Søren Brostrøm. In mid-July last year, the first 12-15-year-old children in Denmark were invited to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. In November, 5-11-year-olds were also recommended to get vaccinated against the virus.

Denmark, In hindsight, we didn’t benefit much from vaccinating children, admits director of Danish health authority

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the knowledge Denmark has today, vaccinating children against coronavirus last year didn’t benefit much.

Søren Brostrøm, director of the Danish Health Authority, confirmed this on Wednesday during the presentation of the future Covid strategy.

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In mid-July last year, the first 12-15-year-old children in Denmark were invited to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. In November, 5-11-year-olds were also recommended to get vaccinated against the virus.

Søren Brostrøm. (Photo internet reproduction)
Søren Brostrøm. (Photo internet reproduction)

At the time, it was said that the vaccinations were not primarily for the benefit of the children, but for disease control in Denmark.

He was also asked if it was a mistake to vaccinate children.

– With what we know today: yes. With what we knew then: no.

At Wednesday’s press conference, Søren Brostrøm also said that it had become clear in the spring that vaccines did not necessarily prevent infections, but rather serious diseases, and that we must now “learn the lessons.”

– In retrospect, extending the vaccination program to children didn’t do much in terms of disease control. But that’s hindsight.

BURDEN ON PARENTS

Christine Stabell Benn, clinical professor at the University of Southern Denmark, has long been critical of the corona vaccination program for children. She had no doubt that the recommendation was unnecessary, even though Denmark recommended it last summer for ages 12-15.

– We had some vaccines with a very unknown side effect profile, and at the same time we had some children who had nothing to gain from being vaccinated, she told TV 2.

Since the health authority itself has expressed that there was a lot of uncertainty about whether it was the right decision, she also believes that the authority should have adjusted the strength of its campaign. She calls on the authority to review whether it was really necessary to “put so much pressure on parents” to get children vaccinated:

– Moreover, children were made responsible for the health of their parents and grandparents. In my opinion, this is unfair,” says Christine Stabell Benn and continues:

– “I think there are still a lot of parents who are saying, “What was this really about?” There are a lot of parents who really struggled to drag their kids to the immunization center, but with what success?

BREAKDOWN OF TRUST

At doctor Bolette Friderichsen’s office, she encountered many parents who couldn’t understand why their child should “go along” and be vaccinated.

Now, almost a year after the vaccination recommendations for children, she is particularly surprised that the parents of almost 60% of the children in the affected age groups have refused the offer of the authorities.

– You have to imagine that the 60% were in a big dilemma. And I can well imagine that these families have now lost confidence in the authorities, in whom we otherwise have a high level of trust in Denmark,” Bolette Friderichsen, who is also president of the Danish Society of General Practice, told TV 2.

She believes the plan must therefore include the possibility of achieving natural immunity through infection, as this form of immunity “lasts longer” and poses little risk to healthy children.

Allan Randrup Thomsen, professor of experimental virology at the University of Copenhagen, supports the Danish health authority’s new announcement, saying that in light of today’s findings, it probably didn’t make much sense to vaccinate the youngest.

– But what we need to note is that no harm was done as a result. Rather, it was a misinterpretation of the situation at the time, which we will discuss among experts for a long time, he tells TV 2.

In the program “Go’ aften Live” Søren Brostrøm addressed a message to parents who have had their children vaccinated.

– I want to look all the parents who have vaccinated their children in the eye and say, “You did the right thing, and I thank you for listening.” But at the same time – and this is the most important thing to maintain trust – I will admit and say that we’ve gotten smarter and we wouldn’t do the same thing today. And we will not do that in the future, Brostrøm said.

At the press conference on Wednesday, it was announced that only Danes over 50 and particularly vulnerable people will be invited to a fourth coronation.