Evidence and rationale for vaccinating children and adolescents against SARS-CoV-2: a comprehensive narrative review
13rd Department of Pediatrics, Hippokration General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 546 42, Thessaloniki, Greece
2Pediatric Immunology and Rheumatology Referral Center, 1st Department of Pediatrics, Hippokration General Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 546 42, Thessaloniki, Greece
3Department of Anesthesia, Hippokration General Hospital, 546 42, Thessaloniki, Greece
4Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Hippokration General Hospital, 546 42, Thessaloniki, Greece
Submitted: 01 April 2022 Accepted: 18 May 2022
Online publish date: 20 July 2022
† These authors contributed equally.
Vaccines remain the most rigorous and cost-effective weapon of the public health care system against infectious diseases. The development of safe and effective vaccines against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged as an imperative response to the unprecedented morbidity and mortality of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent immense pressure on health care systems, families and global society. Despite the typically mild disease course of SARS-CoV-2 in minors, the associated rare but potentially life-threatening complications, as well as the emergence of new highly transmissible variants, led promptly to the extension of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in children and adolescents. To date, various COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been successfully trialed in pediatric populations, followed by their incorporation into corresponding vaccination campaigns in both high- and low-income countries. However, the universal COVID-19 vaccination of children and adolescents remains a matter of debate, along with skepticism about their overall safety and benefits in this age group. In this narrative review, we attempt to summarize the multi-faceted burden of COVID-19 on minors, highlighting the favourable safety/effectiveness profile of COVID-19 vaccines in this age group, elucidating the raised concerns and presenting the current implemented vaccination strategies.
SARS-CoV-2; Viral vaccines; mRNA vaccines; Vaccine development; Vaccination hesitancy; Minors; Communicable diseases; Public health
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