Ministers Dithering Over Decision on Whether to Vaccinate Children against Covid

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has “reached some conclusions” on whether to recommend the vaccination children against Covid, with previous reports suggesting that it will advise against this move until there is more safety data. But while JCVI members say they are “perplexed” by the Government stalling on this matter, a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesman says ministers are waiting for a “formal recommendation” before moving any further. The Telegraph has more.

Senior JCVI members have previously publicly questioned the ethics of vaccinating a population that faces only a tiny risk of serious illness from Covid.

However, Professor Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer, last week suggested the Government was sympathetic to the idea when he said there was a “wider question” about disruption to schooling.

On Sunday night, a source said: “It is about reconciling the view of the Committee – which of course is evolving over time anyway – and what the politicians are minded to do. I guess that process is taking longer than usual.”

JCVI members were “perplexed” by the delay, the source added, saying: “We’ve deliberated and we’ve reached some conclusions, but the position we’re in is that we’re waiting for a joint communique from DHSC, from Matt Hancock and the whole team.”

On Sunday night, the Department of Health denied that ministers had yet received JCVI’s advice…

JCVI members – most of whom are independent scientists who offer their expertise to the committee – are known to be seeking the assurance of real-world safety data from mass roll-outs in other countries…

A key issue of concern is understanding whether mRNA vaccines such as the Pfizer jab increase the risk of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said there have been more than 300 cases reported among the millions of teens and young adults who have received an mRNA vaccine, but that in the “vast majority” of cases the inflammation went away…

A DHSC spokesman said: “Following a robust review of the evidence, the MHRA concluded the Pfizer Covid vaccine meets the high standards of safety, effectiveness and quality required and has authorised its use for people aged 12 and above.

“Ministers have not received JCVI advice and no decisions have been made on whether people aged 12 to 17 should be routinely offered Covid vaccines. The Government will continue to be guided by the advice of the JCVI and has asked for its formal recommendation. We will update in due course.”

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