When the corona incidences among five to nine year olds in Berlin approached the thousand mark a few weeks ago, there was no longer any doubt for Katharina Lange: she decided to protect her two young sons with a vaccination against the virus.

It seemed to her only a matter of time before all the unvaccinated would be infected, so the risk assessment was one between the consequences of a corona infection and a vaccination.

"And the vaccination is the lesser evil for me."

Leonie Feuerbach

Editor in politics.

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Anna-Lena Ripperger

Editor in politics.

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But neither the general medical practice in which Lange is employed as a doctor, nor the pediatric practice in which her husband works, offered vaccinations for those under the age of twelve.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved Biontech's vaccine for children.

But for a long time there was not only a recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO), but also the vaccine itself. Delivery is not due to start until next week.

And until then, when vaccinating with a smaller amount of the adult vaccine, what is known as an off-label application is made;

Doctors therefore operate in a gray area.

Four million vaccinated children under the age of five in the United States

That is why Katharina Lange and her husband did not succeed in finding a pediatrician who vaccinated their children - not the five-year-olds and certainly not the two-year-olds, for whose age group no vaccine has yet been approved. But they found a doctor friend who came by on a Friday evening after work with a cooler bag and vaccination dose. Together they discussed the procedure. The five-year-old should receive 0.1 milliliters, the two-year-old 0.03. “That is really little liquid.” And because a small residue always remains in the syringe, the vaccination with sodium chloride solution has to be extended.

The children were proud of their plasters after the vaccination. There were no side effects. Lange had assumed that there are now four million vaccinated children under the age of five in the United States, and none of them have developed myocarditis, the most common serious side effect of Biontech's vaccine. The first data showed a good tolerance even in children from six months. This is not the only reason why Lange is certain that vaccinating her children was the right decision. Nevertheless, in reality it is called differently than in this text. Because she feels the mood around vaccination is very charged, she worries about her sons.

In fact, there is often a lot going on when it comes to children and Corona. Families were particularly stressed in the pandemic, due to closed daycare centers and schools, debates about masks and tests, and contradicting recommendations from politics and science. Vaccination has been and is discussed particularly vigorously - and also the role of the STIKO. You are working too slowly for the dynamics of the pandemic, said the North Rhine-Westphalian Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP). And Bavaria's Minister of Health, Klaus Holetschek (CSU), urged the STIKO to urgently recommend child vaccinations. Parents willing to vaccinate expressed the wish that politicians should accelerate the process and, if necessary, bypass the STIKO. The STIKO boss Thomas Mertens was recently criticized for a statement in the FAZ podcast. There he was asked if heif he had a seven year old child, he would have it vaccinated. "I probably wouldn't get it vaccinated right now," he replied.