The U.K. has moved a step closer to vaccinating children against Covid today, with the medicines regulator having approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in those aged 12-15. This comes in spite of the warning from Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Bristol and a member of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), that children should not be given Covid vaccines because of the “side effects“. The Guardian has the story.
“We have carefully reviewed clinical trial data in children aged 12 to 15 years and have concluded that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh any risk,” said Dr June Raine, the Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
She added it would be up to the JCVI to decide whether this age group would come under the vaccine deployment programme.
More than 2,000 children were involved in the clinical trial to determine the safety of the Pfizer vaccine, the Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, said. “We have been very careful to take into consideration the younger age group and the benefits of this population being vaccinated against any potential risk of side-effects.
“We have concluded that based on the data we have seen on the quality, effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, its benefits do outweigh any risk. The MHRA will continue to scrutinise all of the suspected side effects data received through the rigorous surveillance programme in place through the yellow card scheme and other safety surveillance measures for all of the Covid vaccines used in the U.K.”
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: There is a petition on the Gov.uk website opposing the vaccination of children against Covid until Phase Three trials are complete which can be found here.