A federal court has ruled that children aged 5 to 11 have the right to be vaccinated against COVID-19, setting a precedent that other courts are obliged to follow.
In a ruling published Friday, a Mexico City-based administrative court said that children between those ages remain susceptible to infection if they are not vaccinated and therefore their health and even lives could be placed at risk.
The court noted that coronavirus cases among young children are on the rise and “numerous” deaths have been recorded.
It referenced a Pfizer study that found that a reduced dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children aged 5 to 11.
The court’s ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of parents seeking an injunction obliging the federal government to offer shots to their children.
It said that health authorities have an obligation to offer vaccines to the children named in the lawsuit. Unless the ruling is superseded, other courts will have to issue similar injunctions to families who request them.
The government has not offered vaccines to children under 15 with the exception of those aged 12 and older with an existing health condition that makes them vulnerable to serious illness.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell has defended the government’s vaccination policy, saying late last month that the probability of a healthy child getting seriously ill or dying from COVID is “very, very low.”
In other COVID-19 news:
• The Health Ministry reported 21,565 new cases and 470 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday. Mexico’s accumulated tallies are 5.36 million confirmed infections and 314,598 fatalities. There are just over 82,000 estimated active cases, with the highest number per capita in Colima followed by Baja California Sur and Mexico City.
López-Gatell said Tuesday that the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic had declined during three consecutive weeks.
• Over 1.2 million vaccine doses were administered in Mexico on Thursday, lifting the total number of shots given to just under 176.2 million.
López-Gatell said Tuesday that 90% of Mexicans aged 18 and over are vaccinated, and tweeted Friday that the campaign to offer booster shots to eligible recipients is making progress across the entire country.
“There will be coverage in the most remote localities,” the coronavirus czar added.
With reports from Milenio