While the UK is about to lift all public restrictions next Monday, its government has not decided about vaccination in children.
On July 17, the Telegraph reported the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended halting mass vaccination in kids due to concerns about inadequate data regarding the risks of the doses to underage recipients.
According to the outlet, JCVI said that the shots should be prioritized for vulnerable teenagers with impaired immune systems or those living with relatives that do not have normal immune systems. The age groups affected include 12 to 15-year-olds and those who are close to turning 18.
“Scientists want to see more data from the United States and elsewhere before taking a firm stand either way,” one government source revealed.
Details of the conversations between the committee and the ministers have not been released, but the Telegraph said the ministers had not reached their final decision.
“Nobody is going to make a final decision at this point. The JCVI will want to weigh up the benefits against the risks before vaccinating children and it wants more data,” the source added.
One senior Tory MP revealed that some government health experts were assessing the matter ethically regarding the legitimacy of getting children vaccinated “when it might not be in their personal interest, even if it was in the interest of wider society.”
Still, although the committee declined the need for an urgent rush in getting children vaccinated, they would continue to “review” the possibility.
Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and the one-shot J&J (Janssen) vaccines are approved for use throughout the UK. For Pfizer alone, the country has allowed it to be administered among teenagers of 12 and 15 years old this month.
Amid skeptics, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson allows the country to lift nearly all COVID-19 related restrictions by Monday next week.
On Saturday, July 17, the country recorded 54,674 new infections, an increase of 2,804 cases from the day before. As Reuters compared, it was the most significant daily number reported in six months.
Although the UK is among those that lead the world with its COVID-19 related death toll, two-thirds of its adult population has been fully immunized.