Vaccination is possible since Tuesday for adolescents from 12 years old, in France.
For the infectious disease specialist Odile Launay, guest of Europe 1, beyond the objective of collective immunity, it is above all to find a normal life, especially in middle and high school, that young people must go through the vaccine.
Since Tuesday, young people aged 12 to 17 can also be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
This requires the written consent of both parents, and that one of them is present at the time of the injection.
With this decision, the authorities want the vaccination rate to remain at a high level, with the aim of achieving the widest possible collective immunity.
But Odile Launay, infectious disease specialist and head of the vaccinology center at Cochin hospital in Paris, prefers to insist on the individual benefit that adolescents can derive from it.
"It's more of a benefit of both social and family order," she said on Tuesday on Europe 1.
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"The benefit, for them, is not so much on their physical health, in any case to avoid having serious forms of Covid", insists Odile Launay.
"But since they have been very affected by the health crisis, the idea is to allow these young people to be able to return to college, to high school, to be able to resume a sporting activity. So, ultimately, it is a benefit more on their possibility of resuming a life closer to normal. And that goes through a very broad immunization of this age group and in fact, the limitation of the circulation of the virus. The benefit is not only collective, it is also individual. "
"We have for the moment still a moderate decline vis-à-vis the vaccination of the youngest"
And according to the infectious disease specialist, the vaccination of the youngest will not be enough to achieve collective immunity anyway.
"We must not be deluded. Even when we will have vaccinated a larger proportion of the population, including the youngest, the virus will continue to circulate and will continue to cause severe forms and complications in people at greater risk if they have not been vaccinated, ”she warns.
"So the message is' yes, vaccinate the youngest and in any case from the age of 12, but let's do everything so that the oldest and most at risk who today are not not yet vaccinated because they have concerns about getting vaccinated. '"
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As for the risks to which the youngest are exposed with vaccination, Odile Launay does not avoid them. "For the moment, we have vaccinated mainly adults, starting with the oldest adults. So, for the moment, we still have a fairly moderate decline vis-à-vis the vaccination of the youngest", admits- it. "And we know that there may be undesirable effects which would not have been revealed in older people, which could be seen in younger subjects. So, I believe that we must remain cautious. For France, we have the possibility of having data coming to us from the United States, Canada. We must remain extremely vigilant. "