Brit kids to be told in WEEKS if they can get Covid vaccines

A DECISION on whether kids should be given a coronavirus vaccine is set to be made in weeks, one expert has claimed.

All adults over the age of 18 are now being urged to come forward for their jabs but children across the country still remain unvaccinated.

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Over 44.7 million Brits have had a first dose of their jab with 32.8 now also having had a second.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is yet to agree on when or if kids will get the jab at all, but pressure is mounting as schools keep having to send groups of kids home due to cases in bubbles.

Professor Anthony Harden, deputy chair of the JCVI said there are pros and cons when it comes to vaccinating children.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, he said the group would address the issue "in due course".

He said: "We need to be sure these vaccines benefit children in some way and the risks from the vaccine aren't such that the risk benefit ratio doesn't' become sensible to give them the vaccine.

"We are looking at this data very carefully.

"Clearly we are going to have to make a view on it over the forthcoming weeks."

Children in both the US and Israel have started to receive jabs and kids in the UK aged 16 and 17 are set to get jabs before they return to school in September – but that still leaves a large group of the population unvaccinated.

Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of Independent Sage told Time Radio said it was "clear" that kids needed to have a jab.

He said: "I think people in the JCVI, who are looking at this from the perspective of the individual child and looking at the risk/benefit balance, are less enthusiastic about vaccinating children, but I'm a public health physician. 

"From a population perspective, it's very clear that we have to vaccinate children."

 

Prof Harden's comments come after one scientist said that the unlocking of the country set for July 19 should be delayed until all children have received a vaccine.

Sage member Professor John Edmunds said: "At some point we do have to dismantle all of these measures that we've put in place.

"I think, for me, the safest time to do that is when children have been vaccinated, certainly secondary-school-aged children at least. That's the safest way."

And he says the only way out of the crisis is to jab every person in the country.

BOOSTER JAB

While kids remain unvaccinated, Brits 50 and over are getting set to receive a third dose in September, which is set to protect them during the winter months.

Prof Harden said one of the best things about the booster jab is the fact that it will just be one dose, and that the infrastructure is already in place to give people the extra jab.

He said: "I think the NHS will be able to come up with a plan which is why we have given them this interim advice (on booster jabs) so they can start planning."

The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the UK and Prof Harden said this was something the JCVI is keeping an eye on when it comes to the rollout of booster jabs.

He said it was unlikely that vaccines would be "tweaked" by the end of the year to deal with the Delta variant and that variants of concern were something that the group is continuously looking at.

 

Prof Harden said the booster jabs would be given in stage one and stage two.

"Stage one includes all those over the age of 16 who have immuno suprresion and all those over the age of 16 who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

"Phase 2 will include those between 16-49 who have underlying health illnesses, so there will be a number of young people who are eligible."

He added that people who had their jabs earlier on were the priority for booster jabs.

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