Bonn · Since Monday, children between the ages of five and eleven have been vaccinated against Corona in NRW. Where can this be done in Bonn and how can parents get an appointment for their children? We put together the answers to some questions.
The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) has so far only recommended vaccination for five to eleven-year-olds with certain pre-existing conditions. These include severe obesity, certain chronic lung diseases, tumour diseases and Down syndrome. It is also advised for children who have contact with people at risk of severe Covid-19. These are, for example, people with immune deficiencies or very old people.
According to the Stiko, all other children of this age can be vaccinated after being provided with medical information, if the individual wish of the child and parents exists.
How many vaccine doses does the City of Bonn currently provide for children?
Around 22,000 children between the ages of five and eleven live in Bonn. According to the city, the public health department ordered 6,000 child vaccine doses on 7 December, with which up to 3,000 children can now be fully vaccinated. According to the city, all vaccine doses have been delivered in the meantime. However, half of the vaccine doses must be put on hold for the second vaccinations. Because this procedure is regulated by decree, it would not have been possible for the city to administer 6,000 first vaccinations first and then continue with the second vaccinations by means of the next delivery.
Only a few minutes after the start of the appointment allocation for the child vaccinations of the City of Bonn on Wednesday morning, all available appointments were already taken. Appointments at the vaccination centre in the Godesberg Stadthalle could be booked from 8 a.m. on 15 December. They were already taken after fifteen minutes, the City of Bonn announced at noon and wrote of an "overwhelming interest".
Will more vaccination dates now be released?
The City of Bonn has already reacted to the great interest of parents in the offer for children. The city hall in Bad Godesberg will be used exclusively for children's vaccinations from Friday (17 December), the city announced on Wednesday. Adults willing to be vaccinated are asked to use the vaccination services of the other municipal vaccination centres. New appointments are also scheduled to be released online from 3pm on Wednesday (15 December).
How can one make an appointment with the City of Bonn?
Appointments can be made online at www.ciz-bonn.de. The second vaccination appointment is automatically booked as well. In addition to making an appointment, parents with their five to eleven-year-old children can also come to the Stadthalle Bad Godesberg for vaccinations without an appointment from 20 December, Monday to Friday between 4 and 6 pm.
When do the vaccinations of the City of Bonn start?
On Friday, 17 December, the city’s offer of child vaccinations for all five to eleven-year-olds in Bonn will start. "I am very happy that we now have the opportunity to also protect children from Corona with a vaccination. The city is well prepared to now vaccinate all the vaccine doses at its disposal as quickly as possible," explains Lord Mayor Katja Dörner. Children receive two vaccinations at intervals of three weeks.
Can I also have my child vaccinated at the paediatrician's office?
Bonn's paediatricians also vaccinate children between the ages of five and eleven. However, some practices only offer the vaccination for children with a previous illness, while other practices also offer the vaccination without such a condition. Parents should check the websites or call the respective paediatrician to find out about the vaccination conditions in their practice. Paediatricians struggled with the shortage of vaccine at the beginning of the week. The delivery of the vaccine was slow, so that some appointments already made for Monday or Tuesday had to be cancelled.
Do doctors have to comply with the individual vaccination wishes of parents for their children?
No, they don't have to, as paediatrician Jakob Maske, federal press spokesman for the Professional Association of Paediatricians, clarifies. "Of course I can refuse if I am not convinced of the sense of the vaccination in the child sitting in front of me," he says.
What do parents need to know about the vaccine?
For five to eleven-year-olds, a lower-dose and differently packaged preparation is used compared to the conventional BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. According to Stiko, two doses of the mRNA vaccine should be given at intervals of three to six weeks. There is not yet an approved vaccine for younger children.
Should parents wait for a vaccine adapted to the Omikron variant?
The Omikron variant, and the work announced by vaccine manufacturers on an adapted vaccine, are likely to raise the question for some parents as to how sensible it is now to vaccinate with the previous vaccine in a healthy child. Experts are divided on this. "For healthy children between five and eleven years of age, we do not generally recommend vaccination for the time being anyway because of the residual risk of still unknown rare side effects," said Jakob Maske, spokesman for the Professional Association of Paediatricians and Adolescent Doctors, to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "Therefore, in this case, we also plead to wait and see."
Jana Schroeder, a specialist in microbiology, virology and infectious disease epidemiology, advises against speculating on the potential availability of an adapted vaccine. Germany still has a problem with the Delta variant, she says. According to Schröder, with regard to the existing vaccine, protection against severe courses is also assumed against Omikron. "Ultimately, Omikron should not be a criterion for parents when deciding on vaccination, as there are still too many uncertainties associated with it," says Thomas Mertens, head of the Stiko.