Only vulnerable children aged 5 to 11 years are eligible for BioNTech / PfizerCovid jab in the UK, following advice from government vaccine advisors, despite drug regulators approving injections for all children of the age group. increase.
On Wednesday, pharmaceutical and medical product regulators approved Pfizer Shot for use in small doses between the ages of 5 and 11. The dose is one-third the size of a jab for people over the age of 12.
However, the UK Vaccine Advisory Group, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, has chosen to deploy jabs only to vulnerable children aged 5 to 11 and those with vulnerable relatives in their families. .. According to official estimates, this will cover 330,000 children.
Apart from this, JCVI can deploy booster shots to healthy 16 and 17 years old, with children aged 12 to 15 years with weakened immunity and children living with vulnerable people. Said. The Commission added that it was eligible for a third dose three months after the second dose.
The government makes the final decision, but usually follows JCVI’s advice.
Decided to limit deployment to vulnerable ages 5-11, despite spikes in infection rates due to Omicron variants and several other major countries choosing universal vaccination for their age group Was given. An average of nearly 100 cases per day were recorded among children under the age of 10 across the UK during the week leading up to December 21st. This is the same level as when a large number of schools were absent in June due to a surge in infections.
JCVI says that two shots given at 8-week intervals will be provided to people aged 5 to 11 years who are “someone’s domestic contacts (of any age) who belong to the clinical risk group or are immunosuppressed.” Stated.
“The majority of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have a very low risk of serious illness from Covid-19,” explained Professor Wei Shen Lim, JCVI Chairman of Covid-19. “But some children between the ages of 5 and 11 have an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk. We are the first to vaccinate these children. I recommend that. “
A person near the committee told the Financial Times that the decision on broader deployment for everyone aged 5 to 11 would be “next year.”
Dr. June Raine, CEO of MHRA, said the body concluded that the shot was “safe and effective” for use in young children. “We have carefully reviewed all the available data and have come to the conclusion that there is solid evidence to support the positive benefit risks for children in this age group,” she said.
Rein compares the actual data for countries where MHRA is “closely working” with other regulators and Pfizer Jab was already available at ages 5-11 compared to what is seen by other regulators. And added that it shows a good safety profile. Age group “.
UK regulators took longer to approve shots aged 5-11 than most other major countries. Regulators in the US, EU, Israel, Canada and Australia all approved weight loss vaccines in November.
Similarly, JCVI has marked it as an outlier by limiting vaccine deployment to vulnerable ages 5-11. In the United States, where all young children can get a jab, 6.1m (about one-fifth of the total) between the ages of 5 and 11 have already taken at least one dose.
Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London, said:
“I can’t understand why the Commission, which seems to be very cautious about the potentially rare side effects of vaccination after 7 million doses in the United States, did not raise any concerns.” She added.
JCVI was also lagging behind vaccine advisory groups in other countries on the decision to provide jabs to older children. In September, the Commission took an unprecedented step in passing decisions to four UK Chief Health Officers.
The Commission only approved a second dose between the ages of 12 and 17 in early December after anxiety began to ride on the Omicron variant.
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