16 and 17 year-olds in the U.K. could soon be called up to get vaccinated against Covid, according to Nicola Sturgeon. The Scottish First Minister suggested that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) could offer new advice “in the next few days” on the vaccination of this younger age group. The Guardian has the story.
Just two weeks after the [JCVI] recommended against routine vaccination of children, the Scottish First Minister revealed that she “hoped” over-16s would get the go-ahead to receive it after all.
Two Government sources confirmed that the JCVI was looking again at widening its recommendation for children over 12. Jabs for this age group are currently limited to those who are clinically vulnerable or live with someone at risk.
Anthony Harnden, a member of the committee, said: “JCVI is in the process of finalising updated advice on the offer of vaccination of children and young people.”
Ministers are believed to have been in favour of older children getting access to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, but the JCVI said they should not routinely be available to children who do not have a specific risk factor.
One of the concerns that the scientists raised, linked to the Pfizer jab, was about inflammation around the heart, with the JCVI concluding that the benefits did not outweigh the risk to those who would be receiving the jabs. …
Professor Rowland Kao, a participant in the the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) and an Epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Per capita, older teenagers currently have the highest risk of Covid infection, and vaccinating 16 and 17 year-olds should reduce this.” …
Making a statement to the Scottish parliament on Tuesday afternoon, Sturgeon said she was “hoping” to get the updated advice from the JCVI “over the next day or so”.
During the subsequent question-and-answer session with MSPs, Sturgeon said: “The JCVI are our advisory body so they have to give us the advice they think is right and I respect that. I am hoping it will recommend going further on the vaccination of young people.
“I am particularly concerned if possible to get vaccinations to 16 and 17 year-olds, which is obviously important for those who will be, for example, going to college and university and mingling with older young people who are vaccinated. But we’ll see what that advice brings and we stand ready to implement that as quickly as possible.”
She later said she was hoping and “veering towards expecting” the committee to recommend further vaccination of people in the 12 to 18 year-olds age group, and in particular “hopeful that we will see some updated recommendations in relation, as a priority as a first part of this, for 16 and 17 year-olds”.
Worth reading in full.