Vaccines for children in the age group of 12-15 years may not be available anytime soon in the United Kingdom. The UK’s vaccine advisory body has refused to give the green light to vaccinating healthy children aged 12-15 years, arguing the benefits were ‘too small’.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a panel of experts that advises ministers, has been weighing the issue after numerous other countries began giving the jabs to young teens. The JCVI’s argument is that the children are already at low risk from the virus so jabs would offer only a marginal benefit.
Doctors identified that children with chronic heart, lung and liver conditions were at much higher risk of COVID-19 infection than healthy children. It was recommended earlier that approved COVID-19 vaccines be given to all children in the age group of 16 to 17 years. It was also said that children in the age group of 12 to 15 years, who have underlying health conditions be vaccinated as they are more vulnerable to the virus.
The decision not to recommend the vaccine to all healthy children was based on concern over an extremely rare side effect of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which causes heart inflammation and can lead to palpitations and chest pain, a leading international media website reported.
On the advice of the JCVI, Britain’s four chief medical officers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will now provide further input ahead of a final government decision. JCVI wants them to consider the ‘wider societal impacts, including educational benefits’ of whether to roll out vaccines to younger teens. Following the summer break schools have reopened across Britain.
The United States announced in May that younger teens would be vaccinated, and many European Union countries including France have already begun jabbing that age group. Italy, Israel and Ireland are also offering the vaccine to all children in this age group.
Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com