The UK’s Chief Medical Officers believe 12 to 15-year-olds should be given the Pfizer vaccination for Covid-19.
The news means kids across Tayside and Fife may now be eligible.
So what does the news change in terms of the advice?
And…most importantly, will your youngster be rolling up their sleeve?
Currently all 16 to 17-year-olds are able to get the vaccine.
Up until now, only some 12 to 15-year-olds in Scotland were invited for the Covid vaccine including those who have:
- severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s syndrome, underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression, profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD); severe learning disabilities or a diagnosed learning/intellectual disability (mild or moderate)
- Also included are those aged 12 and over who live in the same household as adults or children who are immunosuppressed.
The announcement today means all children aged 12 to 15 could be offered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Government ministers will now decide whether and when the rollout goes ahead – though it is expected vaccinations would be given through schools.
Why have Chief Medical Officers advised this?
Their decision takes into account the impact of the pandemic on children’s education as well as the risks to their mental health from missing school.
What are the for and against arguments?
The move comes despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) deciding not to recommend mass vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds.
Those who are in favour of vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds say:
- Children are already routinely vaccinated for a range of diseases from an early age.
- It will help fortify the population’s defences against new strains or mutations of Covid and ultimately protect the lives of older members of society.
Those against say:
- Covid poses less of a risk to children so it would be of little benefit to them to receive the vaccine.
- There’s a moral argument – vaccines from wealthy nations shouldn’t be given to younger children but be donated to other countries.
Do under-18s get one dose or two?
It is not yet clear if under-18s will be eligible for a second dose. The UK Government is awaiting advice from the JCVI.
It is likely if under-18s become eligible for a second dose it will be given at least 12 weeks after the first.
Does my child need my consent to get the vaccine?
If your child is aged 16-17, they do not need parental consent to get the vaccine.
For those under 16, NHS Inform says: “It’s not always necessary to get consent from a parent or carer to get the coronavirus vaccine. It’s important to discuss the vaccine and come to a decision together.”
What do you think?
We are looking for your views – do you think 12 to 15-year-olds should get the vaccine?
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