Salvör Nordal, the Ombudsman for Children, has said that vaccinating children for Covid-19 during school hours is problematic. They should rather be vaccinated after school, at local health centres.
A COVID-19 vaccination rollout for children aged 5–11 was scheduled to start next Monday, in schools during regular school hours. However, the Minister for Education and Children’s Affairs has said that due to recent criticism, a final decision on the place of vaccination has not been made.
In an interview with mbl.is, Nordal claimed that many parents had reached out to her to address their worries regarding the current arrangement.
“We have witnessed a very harsh response from parents who believe vaccinations should not be carried out in schools. People have different views on whether children should be vaccinated or not, and be that as it may, but we sense a strong reaction among parents to the current arrangement. One possible reason is that parents feel they need more time to think the decision through. Others simply do not want their children to be vaccinated,” Nordal says.
She regards the decision to be vaccinated or not as sensitive personal data, which is inevitably exposed if vaccinations are carried out in the classroom. This can make children insecure and trigger uncomfortable conversations with their peers and teachers.
Skeptics demand a revocation of the marketing authorisation of Pfeizer’s vaccine for children
Yesterday, an organisation called Frelsi og ábyrgð (e. Freedom and responsibility) filed an administrative complaint against the Icelandic Medicines Agency, demanding that the marketing authorisation of Pfeizer’s vaccine for children should be revoked.
The complaint echoes the concerns of groups of people who believe that vaccinating children against COVID-19 does more harm than good. The organisation has recently published a series of full-page ads in Icelandic newspapers, where the usefulness of vaccinations of children is questioned.
The Icelandic Medicines Agency responded to the complaint yesterday, emphasising that vaccines are never authorised unless there is data from scientific research that confirms the safety of using the vaccine, Kjarninn reports . Moreover, this particular vaccine has been authorised in all member states of the EEA.
All Icelanders over the age of 11 have now been offered a COVID-19 jab. In other countries, such as the United States, younger children have been offered a vaccination. According to Þórólfur Guðnason, Chief Epidemiologist, data from the US suggests that around 70 percent of children infected with COVID-19 experience symptoms, with 0,6 percent of them requiring hospitalisation. Guðnason stressed in an announcement last month that these figures suggest that if all Icelandic children aged 5 – 11 would get infected with COVID-19, it would result in 134 hospitalisations and one death. Because of that, vaccination is a justifiable measure to prevent serious sickness in young children.