- Chief physicians recommend vaccinating children
- Highlight the health impact of disrupting education
- The government gives the proposal the green light in England
LONDON (Reuters) – All 12-15-year-olds in England will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine after top medical advisers said on Monday that children would benefit from less disruption to their education.
The British government has confirmed that the offer will be extended to all children between the ages of 12 and 15 following a unanimous recommendation by chief medical officers (CMOs) from the four countries in the UK.
“I have accepted the recommendation of senior medical officials to expand vaccination to 12-15 year olds – protecting young people from contracting COVID-19, reducing transmission in schools and keeping pupils in the classroom,” Health Minister Sajid Javid said in a statement. .
The collection will begin rolling out in England next week. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland developed their own health policy, although each delegated administration received the same advice from its own CMO.
CMOs have recommended children aged 12 to 15 in Britain get their first shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) decided earlier this month not to make the recommendation.
Children will be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Vulnerable children in this age group were already eligible for the injection.
The United States, Israel and some European countries have introduced vaccines to children more widely, putting pressure on the British government to follow suit.
There have been more than 134,000 deaths from COVID-19 in BritainThe rapid initiation of vaccination slowed, with 81% of those over 16 years of age receiving two doses of the vaccine.
The JCI had previously said the decision to vaccinate children was “delicately balanced” as the government subsequently sought more advice on the issue.
The CMOs said in a letter that vaccinating children can reduce transmission of COVID-19 and thus disrupt schools, and these benefits “in a balanced manner provide sufficient additional advantage … to recommend in favor of vaccinating this group.”
“(The vaccination) will reduce the disruption to education,” Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said at a press briefing.
“We don’t think it’s a panacea, there’s no panacea…but we do think it’s an important and potentially useful additional tool to help reduce the general health effects that come from education disruption.”
The CMOs said the second doses won’t be offered to the age group until at least spring because they will be waiting for more data from around the world.
(Reporting by Alistair Smoot and Michael Holden). Editing by Jonathan Otis and Grant McCall
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