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COVID-19 vaccines will not be recommended for healthy children aged 12 to 15

Written by on 03/09/2021

Coronavirus vaccines for healthy children aged between 12 and 15 are not being recommended by the UK’s vaccine advisory body.

The assessment provided by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is that the COVID jab should not be recommended to those in this age group on health grounds alone, but the body has advised the government to look at “wider issues” including the impact of the virus on schooling.

The four chief medical officers will provide further advice on the vaccination of young people in this age group following the assessment provided by the JCVI on Friday, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

The UK’s chief medical officers will convene experts and senior leaders in clinical and public health to consider the issue and will then present their advice to ministers on whether a universal programme of vaccinating healthy 12 to 15-year-olds should be taken forward, the department added.

The independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those aged 12 and over after they met strict standards of safety and effectiveness.

The JCVI has already announced it is widening the limited rollout to the most at-risk children in this age bracket who have underlying health conditions – including chronic major heart, lung, kidney, liver and neurological conditions.

But on Friday, the JCVI advised that the health benefits from vaccination are marginally greater than the potential known harms for those in the age 12 to 15 category.

More on Covid-19

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the government will “consider the advice from the chief medical officers, building on the advice from the JCVI, before making a decision shortly”.

“Our COVID-19 vaccines have brought a wide range of benefits to the country, from saving lives and preventing hospitalisations, to helping stop infections and allowing children to return to school,” Mr Javid said in a statement.

“I am grateful for the expert advice that I have received from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

“People aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to the virus have already been offered a COVID-19 vaccine, and today we’ll be expanding the offer to those with conditions such as sickle cell disease or type 1 diabetes to protect even more vulnerable children.

“Along with health ministers across the four nations, I have today written to the chief Medical officers to ask that they consider the vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds from a broader perspective, as suggested by the JCVI.

“We will then consider the advice from the chief medical officers, building on the advice from the JCVI, before making a decision shortly.”

 Sky News

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