The Joint Committee on Vacination and Immunisation (JCVI) said on Friday it has decided NOT to recommend Covid vaccinations for healthy children aged 12 to 15
They vaccines watchdog said there was ‘insufficiant evidence to support a universal offer of vaccines’ to that age group given the lower rates of serious illness.
However, despite the Government’s own vaccine experts deciding the roll out was not neccessary, UK health secretary Sajid Javid wants ministers to plan to push ahead with the vaccine roll out.
Javid and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have asked their chief medical officers to examine the ‘broader’ benefits of going agead with the vaccinations following the JCVI decision.
The Mail Online reports: It came as scientists and ministers clashed over whether the UK should be routinely vaccinating children against Covid.
The JCVI resisted growing pressure from senior ministers and scientists who urged it to follow the likes of the US, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, and the Netherlands, which are pressing ahead with the move.
The scientists said the virus posed such a low risk to children aged between 12 and 15 that the benefit to their health of immunisation would be marginal.
However, the JCVI has told the Government to seek advice from elsewhere to determine whether a mass rollout in schools would have wider benefits, such as keeping classrooms open and avoiding future lockdowns.
The UK’s four chief medical officers will spend the next week weighing up whether vaccinating secondary school-aged children will have a broader benefit on society.
Mr Javid said: ‘Along with health ministers across the four nations, I have today written to the Chief Medical Officers to ask that they consider the vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds from a broader perspective, as suggested by the JCVI.
‘We will then consider the advice from the Chief Medical Officers, building on the advice from the JCVI, before making a decision shortly.’
The review will not consider any benefits adults may experience due to having children vaccinated, but will instead focus on areas outside the JCVI’s remit, such as lost education time due to Covid-related absences, either through sickness or being sent home from school.
A decision is not expected for several days.