Covid: Which children are being vaccinated and why?

By James Gallagher
Health and science correspondent

Image supply, Getty Images

England is “ramping up” jabs for 12 to 15-year-olds, in accordance with the Health Secretary.

Sajid Javid mentioned that from half-term, this age group will be capable to get vaccinated in vaccination clinics, in addition to at college.

The Welsh authorities says each eligible teenager shall be supplied their dose by the tip of the October vacation.

When, the place and how are the vaccinations going down?

The UK’s chief medical officers have really useful a single Pfizer dose for all 12 to 15-year-olds.

The rollout is underway in England, Scotland and Wales, and is because of start shortly in Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, in addition to being invited to e-book an appointment at a clinic, 12 to 15-year-olds can get vaccinated at drop-in centres.

So far the programme in England has been delivered by colleges, however from half time period, youngsters will even be capable to have their jab at an present vaccination centre. Not each website will be capable to deal with children instantly, so households might not be capable to go to their nearest centre.

Appointments must booked upfront on-line, as soon as the kid’s mother and father have obtained a letter looking for their permission. Children must consent once more on the time of the jab.

Vaccination centres are additionally being utilized in Wales, with totally different preparations in place between areas.

Jabs in Northern Ireland are anticipated to roll out by colleges.

Is the vaccine obligatory?

No. When the advice was made, Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, mentioned the vaccination could be an “offer”.

He mentioned younger individuals and their mother and father wanted to be supported, and there must be no stigma hooked up to their alternative.

Do mother and father have to provide permission?

Although parental consent is being sought, children below 16 who can show they perceive the dangers and advantages can ask for the vaccine – or refuse it – in the event that they disagree with their mother and father.

This vital authorized take a look at of whether or not a toddler can consent to remedy is called “Gillick competence”. It is known as after a well-known dispute through which a teen needed contraceptive recommendation with out her mom’s consent.

In apply it could be extraordinarily uncommon for a kid below 13 to be judged Gillick competent.

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 do not want parental permission, until there are distinctive circumstances.

Why are all children aged 12 to fifteen getting a jab?

It is hoped the measure will assist stop additional disruption to their schooling.

Prof Whitty mentioned absence from college “has been extraordinarily difficult for children” in the course of the pandemic, significantly in disadvantaged areas.

Vaccinating children ought to assist maintain instances down, though it will not cease the unfold of Covid in colleges.

Evidence suggests a single jab cuts the chance of catching the Delta variant by about 55%. It additionally reduces the possibilities of getting very sick or spreading it to another person.

Will they get a second dose?

The chief medical officers say {that a} second dose should not be thought of earlier than the spring time period.

However, 12 to 15-year-olds could have two doses in the event that they’re at increased threat, resulting from:

  • Severe neurodisability (which may embody cerebral palsy, autism or epilepsy)
  • Down’s syndrome
  • A severely weakened immune system, together with some children with most cancers
  • Profound and a number of studying difficulties
  • Chronic coronary heart, lung and liver situations

Children of the identical age who dwell with individuals who have a suppressed immune system are additionally being supplied two doses.

Image supply, Getty Images

What vaccine is used and will youthful children be jabbed?

Under-18s are being given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, though the Moderna vaccine has also been authorised for use in children in the UK.

There isn’t any vaccine presently permitted for under-12s within the UK.

Is the Covid vaccine protected for children?

No medication is totally protected and all are a stability of threat and profit.

But the Pfizer jab would not have been permitted for UK use if it wasn’t thought of protected.

The vaccine has been linked to extremely uncommon instances of irritation of each the guts muscle (myocarditis) and the sac the guts beats inside (pericarditis). This was discovered to be extra frequent in youthful males, and to be extra doubtless after a second dose.

Both Pfizer and Moderna are conducting trials of their vaccines on children as younger as six months previous.

How many children have died from Covid?

Almost all children and younger individuals are at very low threat from Covid-19.

Data for England suggests about 25 children died from Covid within the first 12 months of the pandemic.

The majority of them additionally had extreme well being issues, together with advanced neurodisabilities.

Only six had no recorded well being situations.

In the 12 months to 31 August 2021, Public Health England statistics counsel there have been round 50 deaths amongst under-19s.

How does the UK evaluate to different international locations?

Many international locations are vaccinating children over the age of 12.

  • EU international locations together with France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy have begun jabbing children
  • The US recommends all over-12s be vaccinated
  • China goals to have all 12- to 17-year-olds vaccinated by October

Vaccinating children: What are different international locations doing?

Correction 21 September 2021: An earlier model of this text wrongly implied that the Gillick competence take a look at was named after a case involving a mom and daughter and this line has been amended.

2021-10-19 20:18:16

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