COVID vaccines for children: A UK panel advises against COVID vaccines for healthy 12-15 years olds preferring a precautionary approach in healthy children due to uncertainty over the longer term impacts of rare side-effects.
The advice given could change the curse for vaccination in other countries like the US, Israel and some European countries which are pursuing vaccinations for these age groups.
The government has asked to consult medical advisers to look at other factors, such as disruption to schools. Many politicians have spoken out in favour of vaccinating more children.
Reuters wrote that Britain has reported more than 133,000 deaths from COVID-19 and nearly 7 millions cases, and while transmission among children can be high, they are rarely severally ill from the disease.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on Friday said children with underlying conditions that made them more at risk from COVID-19 should get vaccinated. For others, there was a small benefit from receiving COVID-19 vaccination.
There were also reports of heart inflammation, known as myocarditis, in young people following vaccination by the Pfizer’s shot which were mild but it was much preferred that more information be gathered before the vaccine is used on healthy children.
Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI said, “”The JCVI’s view is that overall, the health benefits from COVID-19 vaccination to healthy children aged 12 to 15 years are marginally greater than the potential harm.”
He added that taking a precautionary approach might be beneficial by a very small margin to support universal COVID-19 vaccination for this age group at this time. Safety data would be reviewd on an ongoing basis.