Covid vaccines have NOT caused serious side effects in teens in Israel

Covid vaccines have not caused ANY serious side effects in teenagers in Israel, officials say amid world-first child vaccination programme

  • Israel has vaccinated 600 teenagers with none suffering severe side effects
  • Country will roll out jabs to children once adults have had both doses in April
  • Pfizer is currently conducting its own vaccine study on 12- to 15-year-olds 

None of the hundreds of Israeli teenagers who received the Pfizer Covid vaccine suffered serious side effects, senior officials have claimed.

Israel’s health ministry analysed data from 600 vaccinated children aged 16 to 18 with underlying conditions that would put adults at high risk from Covid. 

None of the teenagers had bad reactions to the vaccine, results showed.

The findings will likely prompt Israeli leaders to consider vaccinating all children as the country continues to speed ahead with its jab programme. 

Sixteen to 18 year olds are already being offered the jab in the nation’s world-leading vaccination drive. More than half of Israelis have already been inoculated.

Both the Pfizer/BioNtech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca — currently being rolled out in Britain — have been proven to be safe and effective at reducing Covid symptoms in adults, but neither of them has been properly trialled on under-18s.

Studies focused on adults because they are the ones most at risk from Covid and it is easier to get permission to put them in clinical trials. 

None of the hundreds children who received the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid vaccine suffered serious side effects in the world’s first rollout to youngsters, Israeli senior officials have claimed. Pictured: A teenager receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech in Tel Aviv in January

Israel’s health ministry has vaccinated 600 16- to 18-year-olds with underlying conditions making them susceptible to coronavirus

Or, an 18-year-old teenager, receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid vaccine at Clalit Health Services, in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv on January 23

Pfizer is now conducting a study on 12- to 15-year-olds and the University of Oxford has announced plans to test its vaccine on children as young as six.

But both trials are expected to last several months, meaning Israel’s rollout to youngsters will offer the best insight into the vaccine’s effect on children for some time to come. 

The head of Israel’s vaccine task force, Dr Boaz Lev, told The Guardian: ‘We have so far immunised somewhere around 600 children.

‘We didn’t see any major side-effects, even minor [ones] are quite rare. This is encouraging.’

More than 80 per cent per cent of Israeli adults have already received their first dose of the vaccine and officials expect as many as three out of five to have had both doses within weeks.

Why aren’t children getting Covid vaccines in Britain?

Both the Pfizer/BioNtech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca — currently being rolled out in Britain — have been proven to be safe and effective at reducing Covid symptoms in adults.

But neither of them has been properly trialled on under-18s.

Studies focused on adults because they are the ones most at risk from Covid and it is easier to get permission to put them in clinical trials. 

There is no reason to believe the vaccines will be any less effective or safe for children, however.

A lack of evidence means regulators won’t approve the jabs for people they haven’t been tested on.

The priority was to vaccinate old people because they are most at risk of dying of Covid, and officials in the UK are now working through adults in age order.

Studies on children will now be done to make sure they can benefit from the jab and don’t suffer bad side effects.

As long as there are no hiccups, jabs will likely be rolled out to them in the future.

There is no reason to believe the vaccines will be any less effective or safe for children but they aren’t being rolled out yet because under-18s weren’t included in clinical trials.

A lack of evidence means regulators won’t approve the jabs for people they haven’t been tested on.

The priority was to vaccinate old people because they are most at risk of dying of Covid, and officials in the UK are now working through adults in age order.

Studies on children will now be done to make sure they can benefit from the jab and don’t suffer bad side effects.

As long as there are no hiccups, jabs will likely be rolled out to them in the future.

Israeli leaders celebrated reaching five million vaccinations on Monday – the country has a population of just nine million people – and the government has also begun vaccinating Palestinian laborers who work in the country. 

But the country’s under-16s make up a quarter of the population, meaning they will need to be vaccinated for herd immunity to develop. 

This will require 90 per cent of people to be fully inoculated, according to US top medical official Dr Anthony Fauci.

The country began vaccinating high school students aged 16 to 18, with their parents’ permission, in January.

It hopes to finish vaccinating all 6.75million adults by the start of April, according to prime minister Netanyahu, at which point the scheme will be expanded to children as long as the medical regulators give the green light.

Mr Netanyahu on Monday appeared at a press conference in Tel Aviv with Janet Lavi-Azulay, an Israeli woman who became the five-millionth person in Israel to be vaccinated. 

The success of the country’s vaccine drive has already given decision makers enough confidence to begin reopening stores, restaurants, health clubs and music clubs in recent days. 

Many of these amenities are available only to those who can prove they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus.

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