Children as young as five years old could soon be on the list to get their Covid jabs. The move would need to be approved beforehand by Britain’s medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which so far has only approved vaccines for children aged 12 and above. The UK’s leading paediatrician body has condemned leaked plans which indicate the NHS could begin jabbing children in early 2021.
The vaccine rollout is one of the Government’s primary focuses in its coronavirus defence plan.
Health authorities are urging all clinically vulnerable individuals and anyone aged 40 and above to schedule their booster vaccines in a bid to prolong vaccine protection throughout the critical winter months.
However, children under the age of 12 in the UK have yet to receive the jab.
All children aged 12 and over have been invited to receive a Covid vaccine – in the hopes, the measure will help prevent further disruption to their education.
The chief medical officer for England Professor Chief Whitty said children aged 12 and over are being offered the vaccine – but an official recommendation has not been made urging them to get jabbed.
Dr David Elliman, an immunisation expert at the RCPCH, said: “You have to be absolutely certain, if that is your primary reason, that you’re not going to do any harm to the children.
“The uncertainty for five to 11 at the moment is great.
“People will be demanding more evidence than we have in the UK before we go ahead with it.”
Recent studies indicate there is a correlation between a very small risk of a heart inflammation condition called myocarditis associated with the Pfizer Covid jab.
Two research studies from Israel found the risk is very low.
One, including more than five million Pfizer recipients, discovered 136 cases, while the other study of more than 2.5 million identified just 54 cases.
In these studies, the vast majority of patients only suffered mild inflammation and recovered quickly.
Dr Elliman added studies on the longer-term impacts of the Covid vaccines on children’s hearts are needed.
He said the UK could look to the USA to provide this information, as the USA began vaccinating children as young as five a while ago.