Politics

Low uptake of Covid vaccine among five to 11-year-olds in England



Simply seven p.c of kids aged 5 to 11 in England have acquired a Covid vaccine within the six weeks since they have been made out there to the youthful age group. The Guardian stories that take-up has been low as dad and mom hesitate over whether or not to get their youngsters vaccinated.

A considerably larger 24% of 12 to 15-year-olds acquired a primary dose inside six weeks of turning into eligible in September 2021. Scientists consider a mix of questions on the advantages of vaccinating youngsters towards Covid when most expertise delicate signs and considerations over uncommon unwanted side effects have led to folks’ hesitancy.

Nonetheless, they’ve warned that the notion of Covid being comparatively innocent to younger youngsters fails to bear in mind the variety of children ending up with lengthy Covid. Professor Russell Viner of College Faculty London, who was a part of the now-disbanded Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, informed the Guardian that oldsters must be reassured by the close to absence of side-effects after widespread take-up within the US, which accredited the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine final November.

“It’s a vaccination that probably isn’t particularly beneficial for this age group,” Viner mentioned. “However, it has a very, very good safety profile. And given that we remain in a pandemic, there’s an argument that for individual parents, the balance of risks would appear to be towards vaccination.

“The benefits for the whole healthy population [of five to 11-year-olds] are particularly around a reduction in school disruption, and the prevention of onward transmission to others,” he mentioned. “However, for Omicron, the vaccines are pretty poor at preventing onward transmission.

“So I think the benefits of vaccination for this age group are very marginal. But that’s different for those who are highly clinically vulnerable. They are vulnerable to any respiratory virus and Covid is more serious than others.”

Oxfordshire had the best vaccine uptake for 5 to 11-year-olds, with 12%, whereas Knowsley in Merseyside had the fewest, with 3%, based on the newest NHS vaccine information as much as 8 Could.

“All the data on vaccine uptake shows very significant inequalities,” Viner mentioned. “So it will be those children who are in the more clinically vulnerable groups from the more deprived parts of the population who I would be most worried about.”

Dr Peter English, a retired marketing consultant in communicable illness management and former chair of the BMA Public Well being Medication Committee, warned that oldsters must be conscious {that a} important proportion of kids go on to develop lengthy Covid.

“Some will sustain damage to their organs or immune system that could leave them still unwell months or years after infection,” he informed the Guardian.

An NHS spokesperson informed the Guardian: “Getting vaccinated is a personal choice between families and their children, and we have now sent invites to everyone eligible, providing parents with information to allow them to make an informed decision, while they can also talk to their doctor or a local healthcare professional if they have questions.”

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