UK advisory committee passes on recommending COVID vaccination for healthy children 12-15

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) did not recommend healthy children aged 12-15 receive the COVID vaccination.

The JCVI is the team of medical professionals charged with advising the health departments in the UK on matters of immunization. In making its formal recommendation against widespread vaccination of children, the committee said in a statement that

“the margin of benefit is considered too small to support universal vaccination of healthy 12 to 15-year-olds at this time.” 

COVID has disproportionately affected the elderly, meaning children have largely remained unaffected by the virus itself. The committee acknowledged this by saying “For the vast majority of children, SARS-CoV-2 infection is asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and will resolve without treatment.” Indeed the low risk to children is supported by studies in The Lancet, and at Johns Hopkins University.

The committee did expand the list of children who they are recommending get the shot due to their health issues including those with type 1 diabetes, and congenital heart disease. 

The committee cited the known risks of the COVID vaccines in young people. Stating “There is evidence of an association between mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and myocarditis”, and also acknowledged that medium and short term effects are still unknown.  The statement, however, neglected to mention the alarming numbers of deaths and serious adverse reactions being reported in the UK. 

Dr. Lawrie, director at Evidence-based Medicine Consultancy, released an extensive report that analyzed the data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Yellow Card system (the VARES equivalent in the UK). While the report acknowledges that reporting of adverse reactions does not mean they were caused by the vaccine, nevertheless the report points out a stunning observation:

 “Fatalities reported post-COVID vaccine to MHRA are shown to be 169 times more in number than the average for fatalities reported to MHRA over the last 10 years for all other vaccines.” The report continues by stating that “The rate of fatalities per dose administered in the UK was in the order of up to 28 times higher with the COVID vaccines than with influenza vaccines.”

For now, the Committee is taking a precautionary approach, however, the final decision to approve the vaccine for healthy 12- 15-year-olds will ultimately be made by the Chief Medical Officers of the UK.

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