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Vaccination of children and young people from 12 to 17 years old against covid-19. What is missing to move the process forward? – Present

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Experts are divided over the risk-benefit ratio of the vaccine in this age group, with some pointing to a low severity of the disease among the youngest, while others highlighting the risk of a possible spread of new variants. However, there are already countries that are moving forward in this process, even when many countries are still lagging behind in vaccination of the adult population.

How is the vaccination of young people planned now?

Health Minister Marta Temido has already stated that the preliminary conclusions of the Technical Commission on vaccination against covid-19 indicate “the priority of the age group from 18 to 16 years” and “the priority of vaccination of children with concomitant diseases. in the age group ”between the ages of 15 and 12, despite the fact that he indicated that the government is ready for any scenario in this matter.

The vaccine plan’s “target group” coordinator said in a recent meeting in Infarmed that vaccinations for 16-17 year olds begin on the weekend of August 14 and 15, and the next two days off are reserved for teens 12 to 12 years old. 15 years. Vice Admiral Enrique Guveia and Melo did not mention the restriction of young people with underlying medical conditions, but made the operation conditional on DGS approval.

What is missing to advance this process?

The decision by the DGS, which requested two weeks to study the views of the Technical Commission on vaccination against covid-19 among young people and the vaccination schedules to determine the position, which should be known by the end of this month or early August.

What are the arguments for vaccinating children and young people against COVID-19?

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Among the arguments most often cited by experts: the need to vaccinate this population to achieve group immunity due to the predominance of the delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which turned out to be more transmitted and has a higher risk. causing serious illness to an infected person; the added value of vaccines in protecting against the virus, reducing not only the risk of infection, but also the risk of possible serious illness in case of infection; the risk of young people being pocketed for the proliferation of new and more dangerous options

Arguments also include the current high proportion of this age group among new cases, the importance of ensuring greater stability throughout the school year in schools, reducing the likelihood of infections or preventive isolation, and avoiding invasive diagnostic tests. whether it be PCR or antigen.

What are the arguments against vaccination of children and young people against COVID-19?

Several doctors of various specialties objected to vaccination against covid-19 in healthy children and young adults, believing that the benefits of vaccinating this population did not outweigh the risks.

In an open letter published last week, these experts argued that the argument for protecting older people to justify vaccinating young people is “ethically unacceptable,” they argue that the vaccine is ineffective for this age group, recalling that the disease manifests itself in this population is almost always mild or asymptomatic and indicates some more serious side effects, such as the association of vaccines (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna) with a very rare risk of heart inflammation (myocarditis and pericarditis).

What do national health sector institutions have to say on this topic?

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The President of the Medical Association (OM) recently said that the organization he leads will “always support the DGS decision” on this matter. In an interview with Jornal de Notícias, Miguel Guimaraes assured, however, that he is “convinced that the DGS will recommend vaccination of children against covid-19 in the age group 12 to 15 years old”, although he previously emphasized that this question “He always needs treat with caution. “

In return, the Order of Nursing (OE) defended this week that it is “prudent to wait” for more scientific information on the medium to long term benefits and effects of vaccinating children and young adults aged 12 to 15. years. However, in the case of children aged 12 and under with comorbidities associated with a high risk of COVID-19, OE believes that they should be advised to get vaccinated by the person responsible for their follow-up.

What do international agencies say?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has insisted that vaccination of children and young people is not a priority given the imbalance in vaccination in the world and the need to control the pandemic in all countries, not just in countries. the richest and most developed.

According to the official website of this United Nations agency, “Children and adolescents tend to have milder illnesses than adults, so unless they are in a group with a higher risk of contracting the serious COVID-19 virus, they are less urgent. vaccinate than older people, people with chronic diseases and health workers. “

WHO adds that “more evidence is needed on the use of various vaccines in children to make general recommendations for vaccination of children against covid-19.”

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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has already authorized the administration of Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to young people aged 12 to 17 in the European Union, arguing that studies have shown that vaccination in this group induces a similar antibody response seen. in young people (18-25) and also experienced similar side effects.

The European regulator noted that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for young people outweigh the risks.

The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in turn, is more insistent on this issue, clearly advocating vaccination for children over 12 years of age. “The CDC recommends that everyone 12 years of age and older get the vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool in helping to stop the pandemic. Fully vaccinated people can resume the activities they were engaged in before the pandemic, ”- can be read on the official website of the American organization.

Which countries have already made progress in vaccinating young people?

The United States of America (USA), Israel, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, among other countries, have already advanced the vaccination process for the 12 to 17 age group. years.

The difference between those who choose to vaccinate this entire age group universally, such as the United States, Italy, France and Austria, and those who only vaccinate children between the ages of 12 and 15 who have underlying medical conditions who are considered to be at risk of contracting the coronavirus … 19 such as UK, Germany, Sweden and Finland.

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30 km advance in Kherson and “significant victory” in Donbass. How did the last victories of the Ukrainian counter-offensive turn out?

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Follow all the news of the war live on the Observer.

The announcement of Russian partial mobilization, the formalization of the annexation of four Ukrainian territories and the threat of the Poseidon nuclear submarine. All these events of recent days show a stronger reaction from Russia and escalation of tension wars in Ukraine. However, almost nothing has changed on the ground since the beginning of September, and Moscow has failed to break Kyiv’s winning streak. Ukrainian troops keep reaching important successes in the counter-offensive in the south of the country and near Lugansk in the east.

It is increasingly likely that Kherson, one of the first cities captured by Russia at the start of the invasion, will soon be back under Ukrainian control. Moscow should not responsiveness strike back soon as the measures recently announced by Vladimir Putin are not yet in effect take a few months until they bring practical effect. For example, with regard to partial mobilization. Soldiers must be trained before they go to the front lines.

Ukraine wants to take advantage of this fact. To that end, he is following the same communications strategy as last month to catch Russian forces in error. The representative of the Ukrainian military from the southern region, Vladislav Nazaro, called for “silence”. “Don’t even report positive news about the actions of our units. Endurance and strength are the secret of our constant movement to victory”, these person in charge, quoted by El País. Paradoxically, Russia revealed the situation on the ground, namely the withdrawal of its troops and the advance of Ukrainian forces.

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The war in Ukraine has entered a dangerous phase of a terrible scenario at the nuclear level – Obozrevatel

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European Union (EU) diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday that the war in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion is now “in a dangerous phase” due to a “terrible scenario” regarding Russian nuclear weapons.

The war continues, and the news from the battlefields is favorable for Ukraine. Ukraine is back on the offensive [mas] The war has entered a new phase, a phase that is undoubtedly dangerous because we are facing a frightening scenario that we must not turn a blind eye to,” said the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Speaking in a debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, Josep Borrell spoke of “a scenario of conventional war involving a nuclear power, a nuclear power that is now retreating from the usual scenario and that threatens to use nuclear weapons.”

“This is certainly a worrying scenario in which we must show that our support for Ukraine is unwavering,” he stressed.

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Despite emphasizing that “Ukraine is advancing on three fronts, in the Donbass, […]in the southern center of Zaporizhia, advancing on Mariupol, and finally on Kherson,” the head of public diplomacy pointed out that Russia “still has a superiority in numbers, superiority in firepower,” so caution is needed.

Earlier today, EU member states reached a political agreement on new sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, the eighth package, due to come into effect on Thursday as a “strong response” to the annexation of Ukrainian territories.

Proposed by the European Commission last Wednesday, amid Russia’s “new escalation” with “fraudulent referendums”, partial mobilizations and the threat of nuclear weapons, a new package of EU sanctions includes a ceiling on Russian oil prices, new trade restrictions, depriving Russia of about 7 billion euros revenues, a ban on the export of more products to deprive the Kremlin of key technologies for the Russian military machine, and an update to the list of individuals and entities subject to restrictive measures. .

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In particular, the EU added pro-Russian officials in the Russian-occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the list of individual sanctions.

In recent days, there have even been Russian attacks on the area of ​​the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, the largest in Europe, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists.

“The position of the Russian army is very bad. Including because the Russian soldiers do not know what the war is for, and those 300,000 who will be taken from their native places to the front will understand even less, so the war can be won on the battlefield, but it must be won. in the realm of ideas. In addition to the war itself, there is another war – the war for the supremacy of values, ”said Josep Borrell.

And at a time when there are fears of interruptions in Russian gas supplies to the EU, the head of EU diplomacy stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “waits for cold weather, interruptions in gas supplies, high prices and low temperatures in order to undermine the European will and will continue to support Ukraine”.

“Here we need to ask the Europeans to understand what is at stake, because our support for Ukraine is not just a matter of generosity, our support for Ukraine must be unwavering, because the security of Ukraine is inextricably linked to our own security,” he added.

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Ukraine: war has entered ‘dangerous phase’, head of European diplomat warns

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“The war continues, and the news from the battlefield is favorable for Ukraine. Ukraine is back on the offensive [mas] The war has entered a new phase, a phase that is undoubtedly dangerous because we are facing a frightening scenario that we must not turn a blind eye to,” said the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Speaking in a debate at the plenary session of the European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, Josep Borrell spoke of “a scenario of conventional war involving a nuclear power, a nuclear power that is now retreating from the usual scenario and that threatens to use nuclear weapons.”

“This is certainly a worrying scenario in which we must show that our support for Ukraine is unwavering,” he stressed.

Despite emphasizing that “Ukraine is advancing on three fronts, in the Donbass, […]in the southern center of Zaporizhia, advancing on Mariupol, and finally on Kherson,” the head of public diplomacy pointed out that Russia “still has a superiority in numbers, superiority in firepower,” so caution is needed.

Earlier today, EU member states reached a political agreement on new sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, the eighth package, due to come into effect on Thursday as a “strong response” to the annexation of Ukrainian territories.

Proposed by the European Commission last Wednesday, amid Russia’s “new escalation” with “fraudulent referendums”, partial mobilizations and the threat of nuclear weapons, a new package of EU sanctions includes a ceiling on Russian oil prices, new trade restrictions, depriving Russia of about 7 billion euros revenues, a ban on the export of more products to deprive the Kremlin of key technologies for the Russian military machine, and an update to the list of individuals and entities subject to restrictive measures. .

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In particular, the EU added to the list of individual sanctions pro-Russian officials in the Russian-occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine.

In recent days, there have even been Russian attacks on the area of ​​the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, the largest in Europe, after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of 300,000 Russian reservists.

“The position of the Russian army is very bad. Including because the Russian soldiers do not know what the war is for, and those 300,000 who will be taken from their native places to the front will understand even less, so the war can be won on the battlefield, but it must be won. in the realm of ideas. In addition to the war itself, there is another war – the war for the supremacy of values, ”said Josep Borrell.

And at a time when there are fears of interruptions in Russian gas supplies to the EU, the head of EU diplomacy stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “waits for cold weather, interruptions in gas supplies, high prices and low temperatures in order to undermine the European will and will continue to support Ukraine”.

“Here we need to ask the Europeans to understand what is at stake, because our support for Ukraine is not just a matter of generosity, our support for Ukraine must be unwavering, because the security of Ukraine is inextricably linked to our own security,” he added.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th.

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