There is a “real nervousness” about the number of unjabbed youngsters with mild coronavirus but who develop more severe Long Covid, a health chief warned today.
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson revealed hospital bosses “were saying they were really getting quite worried about the number of unvaccinated young people who were getting mild Covid symptoms because they caught Covid, but then quite quickly afterwards were developing much more severe Long Covid-type symptoms”.
He added: “We just don’t know exactly how this is going to pan out so we just need to be careful about recognising the risks that we’re running here.
“It’s not just about hospitalisations, it’s actually potentially people having really quite serious long-term conditions once they have caught Covid.
“What they were saying was it wasn’t just a few of these young people who had mild Covid symptoms and then really quite severe Long Covid symptoms, it was actually quite a few.
“So there’s a real nervousness here about we still don’t fully understand what the long-term health consequences are if you catch Covid.
“We all need to be careful and aware of the risks here.”
Vaccination rates have slowed as the scheme moves down through age groups.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is yet to say whether it believes under-18s should be inoculated, but is reportedly leaning away from recommending jabbing kids.
Experts are divided on whether risks outweigh the benefits, given children are highly unlikely to fall seriously ill if they catch coronavirus.
However, the disease is spreading more rapidly among youngsters – and scientists fear that not injecting them could lead to children becoming “reservoirs” of infection and potentially harbouring vaccine-resistant variants which spread to adults.