UK rules out Covid vaccinations for children

The UK government’s vaccines watchdog has decided there is not enough evidence to recommend the rollout of Covid vaccines to all 12- to 15-year-olds, but has held open the possibility of ministers seeking other advice to go ahead nonetheless.

But the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended an expansion of the group of children with health conditions that makes them clinically vulnerable. They should receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as they are more at risk of the virus.

The committee said that with a rate of just two per million of healthy children needing intensive care treatment for Covid, the marginal benefit of vaccinating them was “insufficient to support a universal offer” of vaccines to the age group.

One issue is the very small risk of myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation, in children who receive the vaccine. While this is extremely rare, and children tend to recover quickly, there was uncertainty about any longer-term effects, with further research needed.

However, the JCVI has left ministers – who are under intense pressure to begin the children’s vaccinations as schools in England return this week – with the option of overruling the watchdog.

The JCVI’s decision notes that it is not within its remit to consider wider issues such as disruption to education and wider community transmission, and has agreed that ministers can seek advice on this elsewhere.

The chief medical officers of the four UK nations will be asked for their views, with the hope of a UK-wide policy being formed.

It is understood the JCVI made the decision by a majority vote on Thursday, following lengthy discussions and debate.

The organisation will next week consider the separate issue of third, “booster” jabs, and whether these should be universal or aimed only at older or more clinically vulnerable people.

Source link


Charges linking Bill Spedding to William Tyrrell were ‘malicious’

NSW Police maliciously pursued washing machine repairman Bill Spedding...

Two new books show how sexism still pervades astronomy

Becoming an astronomer might seem straightforward. An awe of...

The slings and arrows of advocate Malesela Teffo’s outrageous fortunes

The statements and conduct of advocate Malesela Teffo in...

Syria Denies It Is Holding American Journalist Austin Tice

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria denied on Wednesday it...

Black people in England and Wales twice as likely to be fined for breaking lockdown rules

Black and Asian people were more likely than white people to be given fines for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules, police figures for England and...

No conspiracy behind incorrectly telling alleged Melbourne BLM protest organisers their charges were dropped, court hears

It was regrettable that two accused Black Lives Matter protest organisers were incorrectly told charges against them would be dropped, but it was not...

UK has least reliable year for rail travel since records began

Britain’s trains have had their least reliable year since records began, data has revealed, as it emerged that only a fifth of services will...