UK says most kids will not be given jabs | The Canberra Times


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United Kingdom authorities say they have decided against giving mass COVID-19 vaccinations to all children and the doses will only be offered in certain situations such as when young people have underlying health conditions. Compared with adults, children are much less likely to develop severe illness following infection with the coronavirus. A survey taken this month indicated that the majority of UK parents said they favoured giving their children a vaccine if offered it. Children with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression and profound and multiple learning disabilities will be eligible for the vaccine in new guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). “We will be offering even more vulnerable people the protection that a vaccine brings and we will all be safer as a result,” vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi told parliament. The government said fewer than 30 children with the virus died in the UK up to March this year. The JCVI said the health benefits of universal vaccination do not outweigh the risks for most young people. “Today’s advice does not recommend vaccinating under-18s without underlying health conditions at this point in time,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement. “But the JCVI will continue to review new data, and consider whether to recommend vaccinating under-18s without underlying health conditions at a future date.” Young people within three months of their 18th birthday will also be part of the vaccination program “to allow a lead-in time,” Anthony Harnden, Deputy Chair of the JCVI, said. The UK’s decision is at odds with those taken in countries such as the United States where children over the age of 12 are being vaccinated. with AP Australian Associated Press


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