The committee that oversees covid vaccination in the United Kingdom announced on Friday that it will not extend it to healthy children between 12 and 15 years old , contrary to the current of many Western countries and despite concerns about the start of the course.
“The available evidence indicates that the individual health benefits of vaccination against COVID-19 are limited in people aged 12 to 15 years with no underlying health problems,” noted the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI). The potential risks associated with vaccination are “also low,” adds the JCVI, but “potentially serious” and are still being fully defined.
The committee thus considers “too small” the benefit regarding the health risk of expanding the mass vaccination campaign to healthy young people aged 12 to 15 years.
However, he advised the government to ask for more opinions.
Following the publication of this recommendation, Health Minister Sajid Javid stated that he will seek the opinion of the medical authorities of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom “before quickly making a decision.”
Anemia and diabetes
Those over 12 years of age with health problems that make them vulnerable to covid-19 can already receive the vaccine and the campaign will be extended starting Friday to other children at risk, such as those with sickle cell anemia or type 1 diabetes.
16-17 year olds are already eligible, although they are being given only one dose at the moment.
The opinion of the vaccination committee comes at a time when many Western countries, such as the United States, have been vaccinating adolescents for several weeks.
In the UK, pressure to extend the campaign to teenagers is mounting as the start of the new school year in England this week has raised fears of an increase in infections, as seen following the return to school in Scotland at early August.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 133,000 people have died in the UK in the 28 days after testing positive for COVID-19. The country, with a population of more than 66 million, registers some 30,000 new cases daily.