LONDON – On Friday, a British vaccine consultant refused to recommend the COVID-19 vaccination for healthy older children, saying the direct health benefits were “trivial.” However, the British government said that after assessing broader social issues, it may provide vaccines with the rest of the world.
When analysing whether the promotion of the coronavirus vaccine should be extended to children between 12 and 15 years of age, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization The conclusion reached is that these benefits are “slightly greater than the potential known hazards.”
Only two out of every million healthy children need intensive care for COVID-19. JCVI Said, “The benefit margin based mainly on the health perspective is considered too small to support the recommendations on the universal plan.”
In contrast, the prevalence of children with underlying health problems is much higher, exceeding 100 parts per million.As a result, the JCVI It does expand the group of older children with underlying health conditions who should be vaccinated. These include people with chronic major heart, lung, kidney, liver, and nervous system diseases. This means that approximately 200,000 children will be invited to receive Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Although JCVI As the school reopened in the new year, the United Kingdom failed to support the full promotion of vaccines to older children, but in the end the United Kingdom may still join other countries such as France, Germany and the United States to provide vaccines to this group.
Health ministers from four British countries-England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland-said they have asked their respective chief medical officers to make their own assessments based on the situation. JCVIAnalysis.
“The COVID-19 vaccine has been provided to people aged 12 to 15 who are clinically susceptible to the virus. Today we will expand the offer to people with diseases such as sickle cell disease or type 1 diabetes to protect the more vulnerable Children,” said British Health Minister Sajid Javid.
“Then we will consider the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation to JCVI, And then make a decision soon,” he added.
One risk that has been identified is a disease called myocarditis, which involves inflammation of the heart muscle.This condition may lead to a short-term hospitalization for observation, and then usually a rapid recovery, but JCVI The conclusion is that the medium and long-term results are still uncertain, and more follow-up time is needed to obtain a clearer picture.
“This is a very balanced decision,” Anthony Harnden said. JCVIVice Chairperson. “Although the benefits are slightly greater than the risks, the current risks are very uncertain.”
Although JCVI It chose not to promote it to older children in general, but emphasized that it is not within its purview to assess broader social impacts, such as the impact on education or children as a source of transmission.
If recommended by the chief medical officer, Javid has asked the National Health Agency to prepare to vaccinate older children.
The NHS is also preparing to provide possible “boost” injections for the elderly.this JCVI It is expected that it will be decided soon whether the third dose should be given to all adults or only to people of a certain age or with a certain health condition.
The government is urged to make a decision as soon as possible, possibly in JCVI Conclusions have been made, especially since winter is approaching, which is the time of the year when the virus discovers new legs.
Although nearly 80% of the adult population in the UK is fully vaccinated, the number of infections in the country has increased slightly in the past month after the lockdown restrictions were lifted. On Friday, the UK recorded another 42,076 infections, the highest daily number of infections since July 21. The number of virus-related deaths is also on the rise, with 121 cases recorded on Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the UK to 133,041, the highest in Europe.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defeated former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt in the 2019 campaign to become the leader of the Conservative Party. He said time is of the essence.
“In a pandemic, I think even a few days can make a big difference,” he told BBC Radio. “So I think we should move on instead of waiting for that suggestion and continue with the booster program.”
• Jill Lawless contributed to this report.
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