Children between 12 and 15 should be offered Covid jab after 'marginal benefit' found

By Jonathon Manning

Children between 12 and 15 years of age should be offered the coronavirus vaccine, according to UK health chiefs.

All four of the UK's chief medical offers (CMOs) said that children should be offered the vaccine after it was found that the benefits outweighed the risks.

However, they pointed out that research found that the vaccine provided only a "marginal benefit" in those of a young age.

But despite the vaccine's benefits not being as clear cut as they are in those in older people, health bosses said the jabs still provided a benefit to patients.

Scotland’s chief medical officer Gregor Smith said parents and children needed to understand that although the benefit was “marginal”, it was still better to have the jab.

“Informed consent in this context is really important, particularly when there is … a marginal benefit,” Dr Smith, who is a GP, said.

“We should not mistake that marginal benefit for no benefit at all, that’s the first really important point in this.”

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the UK’s chief medical officers had found there was “benefit both directly and indirectly to being vaccinated over being unvaccinated”.

Children will not be forced to have the vaccine but will be offered the choice.

Professor Chris Whitty, England's CMO, warned that those who decided not to get the vaccine should not be "stagmatised" for their decision.

Dr Smith said it was important to use “straightforward language” in order to set out “in very child-friendly terms” the advantages of vaccination.


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