In Retrospect, We Didn't Get Much Out of Vaccinating the Children, Brostrom Acknowledges


by Emilie Haaber Lynggaard, 22 June 2022

We have become wiser, and we would not do the same today, says Søren Brostrøm.

With the knowledge we have today, we didn't get much out of allowing children to vaccinate against the coronavirus last year.

It acknowledges the Danish Health Authority's director, Søren Brostrøm, on Wednesday, where the future corona strategy has been presented.

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

At the time, it was stated that the vaccinations were not predominantly for the children's own sake, but to ensure epidemic control in Denmark.

When Søren Brostrøm visited 'Go' evening Live' on TV 2 on Wednesday night, he was asked if it was a mistake to vaccinate children.

- With what we know today: yes. With what we knew then: no, was the answer.

At the press conference earlier Wednesday, Søren Brostrøm also said that in the spring it was clear that the vaccines were not particularly infection prevention, but rather prevented serious illness, and that we must therefore now "take the learning further":

"In retrospect, we didn't get much out of the expansion of the vaccination programme for children when it comes to epidemic control. But that's in retrospect.

An "unjustified hard pressure on parents"

Christine Stabell Benn, clinical professor at the University of Southern Denmark, has long been critical of the corona vaccination of children. She had no doubt that the recommendation was unnecessary, already when Denmark went it alone and recommended them to the age group 12-15 years last summer.

- 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 says to TV 2.

Since the National Board of Health itself has expressed that there were many uncertainties about whether it was the right decision, she also believes that the agency should have adjusted the strength of their campaign. She is urging the agency to reassess whether there was really reason to "put so much pressure on parents" to get the children vaccinated:

- In addition, children were held accountable for the health of their parents and grandparents. That, I think, is unreasonable, says Christine Stabell Benn and continues:

"I think there's a lot of parents out there who say, 'What was this really about?' There are many parents who have really struggled to get their children dragged down to the vaccination centre, but of what use?

A breach of trust

In doctor Bolette Friderichsen's practice, she met many parents who were unsympathetic to the fact that their child "should take one for the team" and get vaccinated.

Now, barely a year after the recommendations on vaccines for children, she notes in particular that the parents of almost 60 percent of the children in the age groups in question turned down the authorities' offer.

" You have to imagine that the 60 percent have been in a big dilemma. And I may well be worried that these families have now suffered a breach in their trust in the authorities, which we otherwise in Denmark have a high degree of confidence in, says Bolette Friderichsen, who is also chairman of the Danish Society for General Medicine, to TV 2.

She believes that the plan must therefore also include in the plan that we can achieve natural immunity through infection, because this kind of immunity "lasts longer" and involves a low risk for healthy children.

Message from Brostrom

Allan Randrup Thomsen, professor of experimental virology at the University of Copenhagen, supports the new announcement from the Danish Health Authority, saying that "it probably didn't make much sense" to let the youngest vaccinate, with the knowledge we have today.

"But what we have to hold on to is that there's been no harm done by it. It was rather a misinterpretation of the situation at the time, which we among professionals will discuss for a long time, he says to TV 2.

In 'Go' evening Live' came Søren Brostrøm with a message to the parents who have let their children get the corona vaccine.

"I want to look every child parent who has vaccinated their child in the eye and say, 'You did the right thing and thank you for listening.' But at the same time-and that's the important thing to maintain trust-I'll admit and say that we've gotten smarter and we wouldn't do the same today. And we're not going to do that going forward, Brostrom said.

At Wednesday's press conference, it emerged that it is only Danes over the age of 50 and particularly vulnerable who are invited to a fourth corona sting.