The coronavirus vaccination has been given to more than 28.3 million people in the UK, of which 2.3 million have also received their second dose. Adult populations are vaccinated all over the world, but some countries with different vaccination plans are already receiving the vaccine for children. But when will schoolchildren in the UK be vaccinated this summer?
Children may soon be encouraged to receive their coronavirus vaccine.
During the trial phases, the coronavirus vaccines were only tested on adults, meaning that certain groups of people, including children and pregnant women, were not advised to receive the vaccine.
The move is under discussion as authorities push for maximum immunity across the country.
Currently, only children at very high risk of serious infection are offered a vaccine.
But sources have revealed that children under 18 could receive the blow as early as August, months earlier than expected.
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A new clinical trial began to study the effectiveness of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in children as young as six and began in February.
The researchers used 300 volunteers to assess whether the coronavirus vaccine will produce a strong immune response in children between the ages of six and 17.
The vaccine trial has started at the University of Oxford, as well as at its partner sites in London, Southampton and Bristol.
The trial will see up to 240 children receive the vaccine, while others will receive a meningitis vaccine.
This control vaccine will be used to prove safety in children, as it can produce coronavirus-like reactions, including arm pain, headaches or high temperature.
However, children play a role in the transmission of the virus – especially in school settings.
Responding to reports that children could be vaccinated from August, Professor Finn told Good Morning Britain: ‘As far as I know, no decision has been taken to vaccinate children from August, nor even a decision has been taken to immunize the children. point.
“But it’s definitely something we may need to do.”
He added: “If it becomes necessary to vaccinate children, I think it is more likely that we would prioritize adolescents over younger children, simply because the evidence we currently have is that transmission of the virus is more likely to occur in and between adolescents who look a bit more like adults.
“I think what we need to learn before that (is) what proportion of the population we need to immunize in order to achieve effective herd immunity and suppress the circulation of the virus.
“To do this, we need to have a clear understanding of how effectively vaccines actually interrupt infection and transmission, and that evidence is still ongoing at this time.”
Israel has one of the highest proportionately vaccination rates of any country in the world with 95,252 people per million vaccinated to date.
The country is already in the process of vaccinating 16 and 17 year olds after determining it is safe, but the UK so far only vaccinates those under 18 if they have an underlying disease which makes it a priority.
Professor Finn added: “During that time we’ll see what happens with the variants, with the circulation of the virus, and then we will be able to decide whether the children need to be vaccinated – we clearly won’t want to do that. unless it is necessary.
“But if it is necessary, then we will know if the vaccines are completely safe and effective and we give the right dose and so on in order to continue with that later in the year.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said: “While clinical trials are underway to test the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines in children and young adults, these trials are not yet complete. .
“We will be guided by the advice of our experts on these matters, including the independent JCVI.”