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UK ministers to be advised against mass vaccination for children: Report

UK ministers to be advised against mass vaccination for children: Report

A shopper wears a mask as he passes a government sign on a bus stop in London, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The UK is in its third national lockdown with people being told to stay at home. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON: Ministers will be advised against the mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to children below the age of 18 in the UK until scientists obtain more data on the risks, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday (Jun 15). 

Experts on the country's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are understood to be preparing an interim statement for release as soon as the end of the week following a meeting on Tuesday, the report added. 

"Scientists want to see more data from the US and elsewhere before taking a firm stand either way. 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," a government source told the paper.

READ: Commentary: Vaccine hesitancy will be less of a problem as more people get the jab

JCVI and Britain's Department of Health and Social Care did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment outside business hours.

The report also added that committee members are understood to have voiced ethical concerns about vaccinating children as they rarely suffer severe COVID-19.

Earlier this month, Britain's medicines regulator extended approval of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for children aged 12 to 15 years.

The regulator said it would now be up to JCVI to decide whether to go ahead and inoculate this age group as part of Britain's vaccination roll-out plan.

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