Clinically vulnerable children and children living with at-risk adults to be offered COVID-19 vaccination

Children aged 12 and over who are classed as clinically vulnerable or living with at-risk adults will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine after Health Secretary Sajid Javid accepts the advice of scientific advisers.

Those with severe neuro-disability, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities should be allowed to get the Pfizer vaccine. 

Children over 12 who live in the same house as people who are immunosuppressed will also be eligible for jabs.

DECISION

The decision comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) stated that young adults aged 16 to 17-years old could get the vaccine, with calls on clarification on the eligibility of children.

Javid has since asked for the NHS to prepare to vaccinate eligible children and young people as soon as possible to help curb the transmission of coronavirus. 

“Today’s advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) means more vulnerable young people at greatest risk from this virus can now benefit from COVID-19 vaccines,” said Javid.

“I have accepted their expert recommendations and I have asked the NHS to prepare to vaccinate those eligible as soon as possible.”

CONCERN

There are additional concerns aimed towards children and young adults who have missed significant periods of learning that a lack of access to the vaccine will further stall education.

Set to be offered the Pfizer vaccine, there are concerns being raised after a rare side effect affecting the heart.

The JVCI said it had made this decision as “evidence shows that COVID-19 rarely causes severe disease in children without underlying health conditions” and that “the minimal health benefits of offering universal COVID-19 vaccination to children do not outweigh the potential risks.”

It is believed Javid and the JVCI will look at vaccinating under 18s without any health conditions in the near future.

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