There it is, the European approval of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine for children aged five and over.

Actually good news.

Now even more people can be protected from infection with the coronavirus.

But while Israel, the USA and Canada have already started vaccinating the little ones, there is no festive mood in this country.

Germany is once again skeptical, and parents who are principally willing to vaccinate who want to protect their children are confused and unsettled by the approval declaration from the European Medicines Agency.

While there have been doctors for weeks who


younger children

off-label in

the evenings behind closed doors

, the official pediatricians say that they will wait to see what the Standing Vaccination Commission, the STIKO, says. But those, as you have already got used to in this pandemic, check and check and check - in order to (mostly) come to the decision in the end that others have already made for a long time. That was the case with the vaccination for adolescents, as well as with the boosters for everyone and also with the back and forth about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But parents can really be expected to wait while Germany is in the biggest health crisis it has ever experienced, with record incidences among children and adolescents, with another impending lockdown that locks adolescents back at home, and speculation about a new one , more contagious virus variant from South Africa, B.1.1.529?

Parents need someone to take them by the hand

Mothers and fathers know: In the situation that Germany is currently in, the question is no longer whether your own child will be infected this winter, but actually only: when? The decision parents have to make during these weeks is: infection or vaccination? And the longer you wait with a clear yes or no to the prick, the more this question torments parents - and the more children will become infected for whom there may be a vaccination recommendation after all.

The arguments that should reassure parents for so long are: Healthy children usually do not get seriously ill, and Long Covid plays a subordinate role for them.

Numbers prove that. But what if your own child is hit hard?

What if it goes against the rule long-term consequences?

What if your own child is not entirely healthy?

And don't we also vaccinate children against other things that are often only mild for them?

Most mothers and fathers understand that infection and vaccination are both dangerous.

In both cases one cannot foresee everything down to the last.

Given the current state of knowledge, the balance remains in the end.

Parents need someone to take them by the hand - especially parents of children at risk.

A hint to wait with an approved vaccine is of no help.

It makes sense to be compulsory for all people over the age of 18

Politicians, first and foremost the incumbent Health Minister Jens Spahn, are clearer in their recommendations.

She makes a vaccination offer for all children - but not now, but only from the end of December.

Before that, the children's vaccine has not yet been delivered.

This also causes uncertainty again: Why didn't the federal government try much earlier to ensure that the ampoules with the right dosage are there?

It has been known for months that the child's vaccine would be approved this fall.

The professional association of paediatricians this week called for mandatory vaccination for everyone over the age of 18. That makes perfect sense. Modeling shows that a sufficient vaccination quota for adults would protect the children. But with incidences of sometimes over 1000 in the younger age groups, should parents really wait (or rather hope) that a vaccination requirement that has not yet been decided will protect their offspring quickly enough, or even for adults who have not been ready to be vaccinated to protect it are now to protect (strange) children?

For parents who do not want to have their children vaccinated anyway, none of these are moving questions.

For those who want it - and according to a recent survey by Deutsches Ärzteblatt, that is around 50 percent - for them, waiting for answers and the right ampoules in the next few weeks will turn into an excruciating shiver that the virus will affect their own child until then may spare.