Court Ruling Could Open Vaccination to Young ChildrenBy Alfonso Núñez | Thu, 01/27/2022 - 18:19
Although the Ministry of Health has not changed its position regarding the vaccination of young children for COVID-19, a Mexico City ruling by the Fourth Collegiate Court on Administrative Matters might open the door for the vaccination of those minors.
The Ministry of Health had previously stated that its policies regarding the vaccination of children complied with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), which names adults, health sector workers and immunocompromised individuals as the first priority group for vaccination. WHO’s second priority group for vaccination includes adults with comorbidities, pregnant women, the education sector and people with socioeconomic positions which could result in further health risks and virus exposure. The third group includes individuals of all ages with comorbidities. According to WHO and the Mexican Ministry of Health, these groups should be given priority before healthy children.
However, the fast spread of the Omicron variant has also largely affected the country’s youth, particularly as several schools returned to in-person classes even as the fourth wave of contagions was known to be approaching. In the first weeks of 2022, 3,609 cases were reported among children, according to the National System of Integral Protection for Children and Teenagers (SIPINNA), meaning an increase of five times in case numbers. While the federal government has upheld its position regarding the vaccination of this group, several attempts nationwide are being taken to speed up the vaccination of children.
The Fourth Collegiate Court on Administrative Matters in Mexico City revoked two negative habeas corpus, creating a possibility for children aged five to 11 to receive Pfizer vaccines. The revocation allowed two children, aged six and 11 years old, to receive their respective vaccines. Through this ruling, an opportunity opens for other children in the country.
The court’s decision came after the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement endorsing the vaccination of young children. “Despite the lack of an evaluation from the organization in charge of sanitary control in the Mexican Republic concluding that the (vaccine) complies with requirements for health, security and efficiency necessary for those under 12 years of age, the truth is that there is (an evaluation) from the international ecosystem,” the resolution said. Baja California was the first state to offer COVID-19 vaccines to teenagers as young as 13 years of age as the race to contain the Omicron variant continues.