By Carl Bennett
Published: 15/12/2021- 18:50
Updated: 15/12/2021- 20:17
Trending on GB News
Children aged 5-11 were vaccinated against Covid-19 on Wednesday in the European Union as half a dozen countries launched campaigns amid soaring infections and fears about the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant.
The campaign is a test of parents' willingness to inoculate their children as governments seek to avoid the mass hospitalisations of previous waves.
The first specially adapted paediatric vials and syringes for smaller doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrived in the region this week.
Around 27 million 5-11 year-olds are eligible for the vaccine in the EU, and most countries want to move fast.
While most children do not become seriously ill from the coronavirus, they can unwittingly infect others at higher risk. And children now account for the majority of cases in Spain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Early studies indicate that existing two-dose vaccines may be less effective against the new variant, but will still prevent severe illness and could protect health systems from becoming overloaded. With Omicron cases doubling every two days in some countries, the race to immunise is on.
France, Finland and Germany, where scepticism is relatively common, were vaccinating only the most vulnerable children rather than seeking blanket coverage.
With Omicron cases doubling every two days in some countries, the race to immunise is on.
When asked about the Covid jab for children, French President Macron said health authorities say it is ok and desirable, but it will remain the choice of parents.