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3 Sep, 2021 14:45

UK's vaccine advisory body REFUSES to approve Covid jabs for healthy 12- to 15-year-olds

UK's vaccine advisory body REFUSES to approve Covid jabs for healthy 12- to 15-year-olds

The UK government’s vaccine advisers have recommended Covid-19 shots for 12–15-year-olds with underlying health conditions, but they won’t make them universally available to the age group, claiming there’s little benefit.

On Friday, the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said it would expand the administration of Covid vaccines to those between the ages of 12 and 15 who have underlying health conditions.

However, in contrast with decisions made elsewhere around the world, the vaccine won’t be offered more widely to that age cohort, with the JCVI claiming there may be little benefit in inoculating healthy teens against the virus.

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“The JCVI’s view is that overall, the health benefits from Covid-19 vaccination to healthy children aged 12 to 15 years are marginally greater than the potential harms,” said chair of Covid-19 immunisation for the JCVI, Wei Shen Lim.

The group said they would be taking a “precautionary approach” on the issue, noting that the benefit of inoculating the whole age group with Covid-19 vaccines was only marginally greater than the potential harms. The mRNA vaccines, which are the only shots available to younger generations in the UK, have been linked with rare side-effects, such as myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.

The JCVI said that the vaccines are reviewed in an ongoing basis.

The government’s vaccine advisers emphasised that very few people in the age group have been hospitalised with Covid-19, and the majority of those who had, suffered from underlying health conditions.

There had been calls to make the vaccine universally available to teens, as kids in England and Wales head back to school. Evidence from Scotland, where children are already in class, suggests the return to school has been partially responsible for a jump in case numbers.

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