The government is set to press ahead with a plan to vaccinate children aged 12 to 15. The health benefits for them have been said to be “marginal” but it is argued that it would reduce the spread of infection
Parents of 12 to 15-year-olds will be asked for consent in an official letter before their kids are given a Covid jab, it is reported.
Scientists have claimed that the risk for children is very low from the virus and so they do not need to have the vaccine.
But at the same time the argument has been made that by having a jab, it means that there is likely to be less disruption at schools and also it lowers the risk of youngsters passing the virus to older people.
Whitehall sources have told The Sun that parents will receive a letter in following days where they will be asked for their consent for the jabs,
It comes with the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation having not given the green light for the jabs for 12 to 15-year-olds. It said that the benefits to their health were “marginal” and only backed inoculating 200,000 kids with underlying health conditions.
Still the government is reportedly hoping that the UK’s four chief medical officers will back the overall advantages of giving the children the jabs such as to lessen classroom disruption.
Prof John Edmunds, a member of Sage, the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said that the overall benefits need to be considered when looking at vaccinating children.
He said it would be right for the chief medical officers to look at it more broadly than the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation which is only considering health factors.
Edmunds told the BBC’s Today programme: “Obviously we need to take into consideration the wider effect that Covid might have on children in their educational and developmental achievements.
“It’s difficult to say exactly how many children haven’t been infected, but it’s probably about half of them. So that’s about six million children.
“If we allow infection just to run through the population that’s a lot of children who will be infected, and that will be a lot of disruption to schools in the coming months. I think you have to take that into account.”
Edmunds argued that there would likely be a large increase in infections from classrooms reopening along with people going back to offices.
He said that any increased demand on the NHS would also raise the chances of future lockdowns.